Scott Rudin’s production company, Rudinplay, and the estate of Nelle Harper Lee have settled litigation that threatened the future of the Broadway play “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
In a statement Thursday, the two sides said they had “amicably” settled the litigation, which had been set for a trial in New York on June 10. The play will open at the Shubert Theater on Dec. 13, 2018, with previews beginning Nov. 1, 2018.
The litigation was dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it is permanently dismissed and cannot be brought back to court under these claims.
The play is written by Aaron Sorkin, and will be directed by Bartlett Sher, with Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch and Celia Keenan-Bolger as Scout.
Tonja B. Carter, on behalf of the estate of Harper Lee, initially sued Rudinplay over the script for the play, which she had said strayed from the spirit of the novel, particularly with the character of Atticus Finch. Rudin later filed suit against the estate and argued that it did not derogate from the play, offering to have the cast perform the play in court to support his claim.
An Alabama judge recently decided that the case would be adjudicated in New York, rather than Alabama where the Carter had filed suit. In New York, Rudin had sought a expedited trial and declaratory judgement, saying that the suit was inhibiting him from raising necessary funding and would lead to the cancellation of the production.
Lawyers for the estate of Harper Lee declined to comment further on the settlement. However, in court documents filed earlier this week the lawyers had requested a delay of the trial and as part of that request, asked the court to file a letter about the request under seal because it contained “protected health information.”
U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres denied the request to file the letter under seal Wednesday, but said they could file a redacted letter.
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” which is co-produced by Lincoln Center Theater, will take over the Shubert Theater, where “Hello, Dolly!,” another Scott Rudin-produced show, will end its run on August 25.