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Watchmen may spark battle for film rights


Harper Lee

Harper Lee

Harper Lee

The movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird is the rare adaptation as beloved as its source material.

So when it was announced that 88-year-old author harper Lee's second book, Go Set the Watchmen - a kind of sequel to Mockingbird - would be published this summer, the shockwaves were felt almost as much in Hollywood as they were in the book world.

The movies love a sequel, and rare is the chance to follow up one of the most iconic American films, half-a-century later.

If Lee agrees to sell the movie rights of her new book, it can be expected to be one of the most eagerly sought novels for optioning to the big screen.


It's likely to spark a bidding war among a host of high-profile producers well before it lands on book shelves on July 14.

Oprah Winfrey, for one, has called To Kill a Mockingbird her favourite book. "I couldn't be happier if my name was Scout," she said in a statement this week.

Starring Gregory Peck and a young Robert Duvall, To Kill a Mockingbird has regularly been ranked among the greatest American movies. It won three Oscars, including best actor for Peck.

"Congratulations to Harper Lee," Duvall said. "I'm looking forward to reading the book. The film was a pivotal point in my career and we all have been waiting for the second book."