A New Atticus?Here's a question I pose informally to my classes every year: The first time I saw Gregory Peck play Atticus in the film version of TKAM, I was struck by how PERFECT he was for the...

A New Atticus?

Here's a question I pose informally to my classes every year:

The first time I saw Gregory Peck play Atticus in the film version of TKAM, I was struck by how PERFECT he was for the part.  He was EXACTLY like the Atticus I had pictured in my thirteen-year-old head.  My students today still love him.  Could it be that the film has not been remade because Peck's portrayal has somehow become the be all end all?  Would it be a good move for a production company to attempt a re-make?  Who on earth would play Atticus?

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lynn30k's profile pic

lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I might want to go with someone who is simply a terrific actor; for example, Kevin Spacey. But I agree with the posters who say that some movies should not be remade, and TKAM is one of them. And please keep Tom Cruise away from re-making anything....

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I agree that the original movie was fantastic, and I'm not sure why anyone would want to remake the old classics. For example Tom Cruise has allegedly talked of remaking Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid-what a mistake that would be. However, if they were to remake TKAM-Sam Waterston in his younger days might have been a possible contender. He is well passed his prime now, but I think he might have been able to pull off the carefully reflective character of Atticus.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with Eric Bana as being able to represent Atticus.  Allow me to suggest a couple of other options.  Though age might be a concern, Gary Sinise is one of the best character actors around.  He can fully immerse himself in the role, but age might be a concern.  Aaron Eckhart might be another actor who can carry to quite stoicism of Atticus.  The accent might be tough, but if this could be worked through, there could be some level of possibility.  William Fichtner is another low key type of actor who brings a great deal of emotional intensity to his roles.  I believe that it's impossible to match what Peck gave and concur with the other posts which suggest that remaking this film is an error, but these are the actors I feel could have a shot of emulating a fraction of Peck's greatness.

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

No one should try to remake this movie. Although it wasn't perfect, it was close enough. Peck was perfect, however, and no one could replicate his performance. I wish I could think of an actor who could pull it off, but none come to mind.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

Eric Bana. He is the only actor I can think of who can handle the both the emotion and the quiet strength of Atticus. Although the movie is cheesy, Bana's portrayal of Hector in "Troy" shows the same sort of resolve and reserve needed for Atticus. Doesn't hurt that he's nice to look at too!

jamiedawson19's profile pic

jamiedawson19 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I think it would be a wonderful idea to remake To Kill a Mockingbird. I can understand the hesitation, with Gregory Peck embodying the role superbly, but this can’t be a good enough reason for never remaking this film.

It was a novel first and then a film. There is ample room for another interpretation. But to say Gregory Peck WAS Atticus Finch and no one else could ever play that role again is a little silly. Little Women and Huckleberry Finn are beloved stories that have each been turned into films numerous times.

Kevin Spacey as Atticus-no.  Tom Cruise-NO!  Gary Sinise- I don't know?  Eric Bana-maybe.  Tom Hanks has been suggested, but it would be too much like watching Forrest Gump with a law degree. Maybe Matt Damon?  I don't know?  I have no really good suggestion. It would be a very hard job for the casting people if they chose to do another version. I think the other roles would be best served by unknown actors, particularly the children. No spoiled Hollywood child stars, PLEASE!

A new 21st century adaption of the novel would be a great idea. Maybe even filming some of it on location in the deep south would be an idea. I understand that the 1962 film was filmed entirely in Hollywood, although it really does fool you into thinking it might have been shot on location. The give-away is that there are no really wide shots of the town.

Here's a terrifying thought- a Broadway musical version!!

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