He replaces Ed Harris in Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of the Harper Lee novel.

By Maureen Lee Lenker
February 25, 2020 at 05:36 PM EST

To Kill a Mockingbird (2018 play)

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Stand up, your father’s passing.

Soon, Greg Kinnear will be that father — the patriarchal figure at the heart of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, one Atticus Finch. On Tuesday, producers of the Broadway adaptation of Lee’s book announced that Kinnear will take over for current star Ed Harris beginning April 21. Harris will play his final performance two nights earlier.

Kinnear has worked steadily for decades on screen, earning an Academy Award nomination for his work in As Good As It Gets. From Sabrina to You’ve Got Mail to Little Miss Sunshine, he’s delighted audiences with his film work. But now he’ll make his Broadway debut in Aaron Sorkin’s stage adaptation of the Pulitzer-winning novel.

He steps into the shoes of Atticus Finch following Harris and Jeff Daniels, the latter of whom originated the role on Broadway. Most famously, Atticus Finch was portrayed by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, winning an Oscar for his performance.

Andrew Toth/Getty Images; Everett Collection

Finch is a small-town layer fighting against racial injustice in Alabama in 1934. As father to the young Scout and Jem, he stands as a pillar of decency, while also navigating forces that threaten to corrupt childhood innocence.

“Even with all its added Sorkinisms, there’s still something firmly classic about Mockingbird; it’s essentially a white-savior story where the savior fails, as nobly as he can,” EW critic Leah Greenblatt said in her review. “If that’s not exactly the freshest or fairest idea to come to Broadway in 2018, it’s still a time-honored tale, skillfully told.”

To Kill a Mockingbird is also poised to launch its national tour later this year, kicking off at the Kennedy Center in August with Richard Thomas playing Atticus. Rhys Ifans will portray Atticus in a West End production opening May 21. The Broadway production is the most successful American play in Broadway history, having not played to an empty seat once from its November 2018 opening.

Kinnear’s run is open-ended at this time.

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To Kill a Mockingbird (2018 play)

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