Posted on February 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Harper Lee’s estate has been ordered to pay $2.5 million in damages and fees in a yearslong battle over stage adaptations of To Kill a Mockingbird.

An arbitrator agreed with Dramatic Publishing, which has licensed a stage version of the novel for decades, that the estate wrongly interfered with Dramatic’s contracts and caused the cancellation of some productions of the play, reports the New York Times.

That, according to the ruling, was because of pressure from Scott Rudin, who was lead producer for a new stage adaptation of the novel.

Rudin's version, written by Aaron Sorkin, starred Jeff Bridges as Atticus Finch and became a box office hit — but also stirred up much animosity with the cease-and-desist letters sent to small, local theater companies looking to run Dramatic's version.

The Lee estate has, of course, filed to overturn the recent ruling against it.

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