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This article is rated R, meaning it contains content that may be inappropriate for readers under 17. This may contain strong sexual references, violence, language, or drug use, so readers are strongly cautioned.

To Kill a Mockingbird is an upcoming American mystery drama film directed by Judd Apatow with the screenplay by Nathan O'Brien and Julia Miller. Columbia Pictures will release this film on September 28, 2020.

Synopsis

Maycomb is suffering through the Great Depression, but Atticus is a prominent lawyer and the Finch family is reasonably well off in comparison to the rest of society. One summer, Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill, who has come to live in their neighborhood for the summer, and the trio acts out stories together.

Plot

The film's young protagonists, Jean Louise "Scout" Finch (Jenny Slate) and her brother Jeremy Atticus "Jem" Finch (Tom Kenny), live in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early 1930s. The story covers three years, during which Scout and Jem undergo changes in their lives. They are innocent children, spending their days happily playing games with each other and spying on Arthur "Boo" Radley (Matt Smith) who has not left his home for many years and about whom many rumors circulate. Their widowed father, Atticus (Will Forte), is a town lawyer and has strong beliefs that all people are to be treated fairly, to turn the other cheek, and to stand for what you believe. He also allows his children to call him by his first name. Early in the film, the children see their father accept hickory nuts, and other produce, from Mr. Cunningham (Danny McBride) for legal work because the client has no money. Through their father's work as a lawyer, Scout and Jem begin to learn of the racism and evil in their town, aggravated by poverty; they mature quickly as they are exposed to it.

The local judge (Nathan O'Brien) appoints Atticus to defend a black man, Tom Robinson (Owen Wilson), against an accusation of rape of a white girl, Mayella Ewell (Andrea Libman). Atticus accepts the case. Jem and Scout experience schoolyard taunts for their father's decision. Later, as Atticus is sitting in front of the local jail to safeguard Robinson, a lynch mob arrives, which includes Mr. Cunningham. Scout, Jem and their friend, Dill (Brian Drummond), interrupt the confrontation. Scout, unaware of the mob's purpose, recognizes Cunningham as the man who paid her father in hickory nuts and tells him to say hello to his son, who is her schoolmate. Cunningham becomes embarrassed and the mob disperses.

At the trial, it is undisputed that Tom came to Mayella's home at her request to help with the chopping up of a chifforobe, and that Mayella showed signs of having been beaten around that time. Among Atticus' chief arguments is that Tom has a crippled left arm, yet the supposed rapist would have had to make extensive use of his left hand in assaulting Mayella before raping her. Atticus then points out that Mayella's father, Bob Ewell (Bill Hader), is left handed, implying that he – rather than Tom – was the one who beat Mayella. Atticus also states that the girl had not been examined by a doctor to check for signs of rape after the supposed assault. In his closing argument Atticus asks the all-white male jury to cast aside their prejudices and instead focus on Tom's obvious innocence. In taking the stand in his own defense, Tom denies he attacked Mayella, but states she kissed him. He testifies he voluntarily assisted Mayella because "I felt sorry for her because…". Although Tom does not finish his sentence, the prosecutor (Seth Rogen) hammers home the point that he was a black man feeling sorry for a white woman. In a town where whites are viewed as superior to blacks, Tom's sympathy for Mayella dooms his case, and he is found guilty.

As Atticus leaves the courtroom, the black spectators in the balcony rise to their feet as a sign of respect and appreciation. Reverend Sykes says to Scout, "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing." When Atticus arrives home, Sheriff Heck Tate (Iam James Corlett) tells him that Tom has been killed by a deputy during his transfer to prison. According to this deputy, Tom was trying to escape, "running like a crazy man" before he was shot. Atticus and Jem go to the Robinson family home to inform them of Tom's death. Bob Ewell, Mayella's father, appears and spits in Atticus' face while Jem waits in the car. Atticus wipes his face and leaves.

Autumn arrives, and Scout and Jem attend a nighttime Halloween pageant at their school. Scout wears a large hard-shelled ham costume, portraying one of Maycomb county's products. At some point during the pageant, Scout's dress and shoes are misplaced. She is forced to walk home without shoes, wearing her ham costume. While cutting through the woods, Scout and Jem are attacked by an unidentified man who has been following them. Scout's costume, like an awkward suit of armor, protects her from the attack but restricts her movement and severely restricts her vision. Jem is knocked unconscious and Scout escapes unharmed in a brief but violent struggle. Their attacker is thwarted and overcome by another unidentified man. Scout escapes her costume in time to see the second man carrying Jem to their home. Scout follows the stranger inside and runs into the arms of a concerned Atticus. Doc Reynolds comes over and treats the broken arm of an unconscious Jem.

When Sheriff Tate asks Scout what happened, she sees a man standing quietly in the corner behind the door of Jem's room. Atticus formally introduces Scout to Arthur Radley, whom she has known as Boo, the man who came to the aid of Jem and Scout in the woods. It is revealed that Boo had overpowered Bob Ewell before carrying Jem home. The sheriff reports that Ewell was discovered dead at the scene of the attack with a knife in his ribs. Atticus assumes that Jem killed Ewell in self-defense. Sheriff Tate, however, believes that Boo killed Ewell in defense of the children, and he tells Atticus that to drag the shy and reserved Boo into the spotlight for his heroism would be "a sin". To protect Boo, Sheriff Tate suggests that Ewell "fell on his knife". Scout draws a startlingly precocious analogy, to likening unwelcome public attention to Boo to the killing of a mockingbird.

Cast

  1. Jenny Slate as Scout, the main protagonist of the film.
  2. Nathan O'Brien as Judge John Taylor, the judge in the court.
  3. Owen Wilson as Tom Robinson.
  4. Tom Kenny as Jem, Scout's brother.
  5. Jonah Hill as Tom Robinson.
  6. Sam Lavagnino as David, Tom Robinson's son.
  7. Ian James Corlett as Sheriff Tate.
  8. Lake Bell as Miss Stephanie Crawford.
  9. Matt Smith as Arthur Radley.
  10. Will Forte as Atticus Finch.
  11. Danny McBride as Mr. Cunningham.
  12. Stephanie Beard as Miss Jean Louise.
  13. Seth Rogen as the prosecutor.
  14. Bill Hader as Bob Ewell.
  15. Brian Drummond as Dill Harris.

Music

Nathan O’Brien will score the music once again, fo this film, with 20 songs.

Release

Box Office

Columbia Pictures will release the film on September 28, 2020. The film will gross up to $2,750 Million USD.

Rating

The film is rated R for strong graphic violence, pervasive language, and drug use by the Motion Picture Association of America, being the 4th Blue Sky Studios film to be rated R, after Terror from the Castle of London, The Giraffe that Wasn’t President, and Fahrenheit 451.

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