To Kill A Mockingbird producer Scott Rudin AXES play despite it bringing in $2 million-a-week

To Kill A Mockingbird producer Scott Rudin AXES play from Broadway despite it bringing in $2 million-a-week after writer Aaron Sorkin said he ‘got what he deserves’ when he was accused of bullying by scores of A-listers

  • On Friday it was announced that the megahit state adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird was being canceled by disgraced producer Scott Rudin
  • Rudin said that he did not see the play as being financially viable in the winter
  • The show’s writer, Aaron Sorkin, and director, Bart Sheer, broke the news to the cast on Thursday describing themselves as ‘heartbroken by the development 
  • In 2021, Rudin was canceled as numerous former staff and colleagues described his bullying and abuse
  • Sorkin said in a Vanity Fair interview after Rudin was canceled that he ‘got what he deserves’ 

Disgraced Broadway producer Scott Rudin shocked the cast and crew of the hit play To Kill a Mockingbird by announcing that the show would not return to Broadway despite it bringing in $2 million-a-week in ticket sales.

Rudin owns the rights to the stage version of Harper Lee’s iconic novel, which has been a hit since it was adapted for the stage by writer Aaron Sorkin in 2018. 

Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman was the first to report on the development, citing a source who said that Rudin ‘has never gone away.’ 

Rudin has faced numerous allegations of bullying and accused of mistreating people beyond the scenes of his productions. There had been ‘a long negotiation to turn the production over to other producers.’

Those negotiations apparently failed. Rudin officially stepped away from an active role in the show in 2021 following the accusations. He also resigned from the Broadway League. The producer also stepped away from numerous film projects – but has now exerted his control over the play he maintains the rights to. 

Among those who expressed their surprise and outrage about Rudin’s decision was comedian Al Getler who tweeted: ‘To think the short-sighted Scott Rudin thinks he can own this iconic work to the point of cancelling it on Broadway is shocking. 

‘He is obviously a man with ego that believes he knows best. I think Sorkin knows success. Sad man Rudin.’ 

Producer Scott Rudin, pictured in 2016, said that he was canceling 'To Kill a Mockingbird' because he didn't believe it would be financially successful in the winter

Producer Scott Rudin, pictured in 2016, said that he was canceling ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ because he didn’t believe it would be financially successful in the winter

Writer Aaron Sorkin, pictured in March this year, told Vanity Fair in an interview that Rudin 'got what he deserves' following his banishment

Writer Aaron Sorkin, pictured in March this year, told Vanity Fair in an interview that Rudin ‘got what he deserves’ following his banishment

Portrayal: The Newsroom actor Jeff Daniels portrayed Atticus Finch on the show during its original run and again in the fall

Portrayal: The Newsroom actor Jeff Daniels portrayed Atticus Finch on the show during its original run and again in the fall

Following his resignation, Sorkin told Vanity Fair in an interview that Rudin ‘got what he deserves’ following his banishment. 

‘The West Wing’ creator added: ‘He’s lying flat on the mat right now, and I don’t know how it’s helpful for me to stand on his torso and kind of jump up and down.’ 

The news of the cancelation of the show came on Thursday in an email from from the Sorkin and the play’s director Bartlett Sher. 

The email read: ‘At the last moment, Scott reinserted himself as producer and for reasons which are, frankly, incomprehensible to us both, he stopped the play from reopening,’ reports the New York Times.

The pair said that they were ‘heartbroken’ by the news. 

Rudin apparently told Sorkin and Sheer that he did not have ‘confidence in the climate for plays next winter’ and that he ‘did not believe that remount of Mockingbird would have been competitive in the marketplace.

In June 2021, Vulture reported citing sources that Rudin was 'plotting a comeback' in show business. Rudin is pictured at the 2003 Golden Globes

In June 2021, Vulture reported citing sources that Rudin was ‘plotting a comeback’ in show business. Rudin is pictured at the 2003 Golden Globes 

He also said: ‘It’s too risky and the downside is too great. I’m sorry you’re disappointed. It’s the right decision. I’m sorry you’re disappointed. It’s the right decision for the long life of the show.’

The activist group Fair Wage on Stage tweeted: ‘Scott Rudin resigned from the Broadway League. He CANNOT be the producer of record for a Broadway show. If he ever claims to be acting as one, it means another League member is acting as a front for him.’

In June 2021, Vulture reported citing sources that Rudin was ‘plotting a comeback’ in show business. 

Among the most infamous allegations against Rudin, include constantly referring to people as a ‘f***ing waste of skin.’ 

The cast of "To Kill A Mockingbird" takes a bow after the opening night performance of To Kill a Mocking Bird at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018 in New York City

The cast of “To Kill A Mockingbird” takes a bow after the opening night performance of To Kill a Mocking Bird at the Shubert Theatre on December 13, 2018 in New York City

A former executive who worked alongside Rudin told Esquire that the producer would lose his temper similarly 'if you give him the wrong flavor FrozFruit or screw up a $100 million deal

A former executive who worked alongside Rudin told Esquire that the producer would lose his temper similarly ‘if you give him the wrong flavor FrozFruit or screw up a $100 million deal

A former executive who worked alongside Rudin told Esquire that the producer would lose his temper similarly ‘if you give him the wrong flavor FrozFruit or screw up a $100 million deal.’ 

In his now infamous Vanity Fair interview, Rudin insisted that he was not aware of Rudin’s abusive behavior on the To Kill a Mockingbird set, and was referring to his previous experiences working with the producer and stories about his behavior that ‘could have been scenes from The Devil Wears Prada.’

‘I have my own experience with Scott, and it’s a higher class of bullying, but I get it. 

‘The stories that I had heard over the last 12 years were the kinds of things that—they could have been scenes from The Devil Wears Prada, there was no violence. There’s nothing physical at all in the stories that I heard.’ 

Sorkin worked with Rudin several times over the years, including on films like ‘The Social Network’ and his HBO series ‘The Newsroom.’ He said it was ‘painful’ to read the accusations in the news and that he feels at fault for some of the abuse because they happened on projects in which Sorkin was most likely involved. 

But he refused to go into detail about his own negative experiences working with Rudin, saying he didn’t want to kick him while he was down and that if he’d been aware of his Rudin’s alleged behavior on his set, he would have taken action.

‘You’ll see people quoted saying, “Everybody knew, everybody knew.” And that’s ludicrous. Everybody did not know. I certainly didn’t know, and I don’t know anybody who knew,’ he said.  

‘First of all, I have my own experience with Scott, and it’s a higher class of bullying, but I get it. The stories that I had heard over the last 12 years were the kinds of things that—they could have been scenes from The Devil Wears Prada, there was no violence. There’s nothing physical at all in the stories that I heard.’

‘Had I known, there’s no chance I would’ve tolerated it, there’s no chance Bart Sher would’ve tolerated it, that Jeff Daniels would’ve tolerated it. So we didn’t know. And once we did, we did something about it.’

Director Sheer has not been as vocal in condemning Rudin. In a April 2019 interview with Playbill.com, Sheer called Rudin ‘the best producer on Broadway.’

When asked in a 2021 interview with Variety while promoting his HBO movie ‘Oslo’ about the allegations, Sheer said: ‘I’d rather not talk about that. It’s sort of secondary to all of this. It’s unfortunate, it was appalling and ghastly, but that’s it.’ 

The show has been dark since January 16th which was thought to be a temporary stoppage as the Covid-19 omicron took hold in the Big Apple. 

Robbed of a role: As Good as It Gets actor Greg Kinnear was set to take on the role when the show reopened

Robbed of a role: As Good as It Gets actor Greg Kinnear was set to take on the role when the show reopened

At that point, the show’s original star Jeff Daniels had been replaced by Greg Kinnear.

It was due to reopen on November 2 at the Music Box Theater. The show was previously staged at the Shubert Theatre.   

The show began in 2018 and was an instant hit, eventually expanding into a touring production and opening on London’s West End. 

In 2018, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was bringing in $2 million per week in ticket sales thus recouping its original investment shortly after opening. 

A year after its debut, the show was nominated for nine Tony awards. 

Despite the New York closure of the show, the other adaptations will continue.  

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