On February 19th, 2016, the world lost the literary talent who gave us the American masterpiece, To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee, 89, passed away from natural causes and the first thought that ran through my mind after hearing the news was, "When are they going to remake the original movie?"
A remake or a sequel? Which do we need more?
Don't get me wrong, I loved To Kill A Mockingbird and feel horrible that a person who inspired so many people with her work died, but it was almost an involuntary reaction. The writer and author, who just recently released the long-awaited and long-rumored sequel to TKAM, Go Set A Watchman, was notoriously reclusive and very unwilling to let anyone mess with her novel without her express permission. The original theatrical production of To Kill A Mockingbird was released to nearly universal acclaim in 1962. Starring Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Philip Alford, and a young Robert Duvall (his debut role), the movie made a killing at the box office, making nearly 6x its original budget of $2 million dollars and won 3 out of the 8 Oscars it was nominated for.
The story of a young white girl in the South who has to come to terms with real adult issues like racial inequality, rape, and drunkenness, is practically tailor-made to be reworked, redone, and remade into an Oscar-baiting remake the likes of which the cinematic world has never seen! Well...maybe we've seen it a couple of times.
I love the original. I'm not terribly opposed to the idea of a remake, but I would much rather see an original production of the sequel Go Set A Watchman. It's a more engaging and adult story. It hasn't been put on screen yet. Plus, most people are familiar enough with the original movie/book that they could go into the sequel and sink right into the action. But knowing Hollywood, I think I'm more likely to get both, with the sequel probably being split into two parts and released within 8 months of each other. Yayyyyyy!