Daniels will play Atticus Finch, the father and lawyer who defends a black man falsely accused of rape in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The play is penned by writer Aaron Sorkin, best known for creating and writing several seasons of the critically-praised TV show The West Wing, as well as screenwriting A Few Good Men, The Social Network, and Steve Jobs. This is not the first time Daniels and Sorkin have worked together: Daniels also played the lead in Sorkin’s The Newsroom, a role which earned him an Emmy.
Known for both dramatic and comedic roles, Daniels has most recently acted in Allegiant, Steve Jobs, and the TV miniseries Godless. Casting Daniels as Atticus has been the plan since the play’s earliest development two years ago, according to producer Scott Rudin.
With the exception of Boo Radley, the rest of the cast has been announced, and this theatrical adaptation adds a unique twist in that the children’s characters will be played by adult actors. Scout will be played by Tony-nominated actress Celia Keenan-Bolger, and Will Pullen of The Americans will depict her brother, Jem. Other actors include Gideon Glick as Dill, LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Calpurnia, Dakin Matthews as Judge Taylor, Stark Sands as prosecutor Horace Gilmer, and Gbenga Akinnagbe as Tom Robinson.
Rudin shared his excitement with the casting of the play in a statement:
“It’s an extraordinarily rare occurrence that you can build a play on the people who will ultimately be in it, but that is what we were lucky enough to do.”
Tony award-winning Bartlett Sher will direct the play at Lincoln Center Theater. Previews will begin November 1, with the official opening on December 13.
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