Author: Joe

Richard Thomas’ “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Takes a Step North on Interstate 5

Richard Thomas’ “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” Takes a Step North on Interstate 5

How Richard Thomas aims to redefine Atticus as ‘Mockingbird’ comes to L.A.

It’s been a while since Atticus Finch walked the red carpet at the Tony Awards in a bow tie, clutching an engraved Oscar. But the movie about the fictional lawyer Atticus Finch — or, at least, his real-life counterpart — is back on the big screen.

This week, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” opens nationwide at theaters for a two-week run and opens in select markets at the end of the month. The movie is expected to rake in $400 million in its opening weekend, which is a remarkable feat that’s hard to wrap one’s mind around.

A few nights ago, I had the good fortune to see and hear the entire cast and director Richard Thomas in person.

Thomas has been the New York Times bestselling author of the Atticus Finch crime thriller for nine years, and he’s done it all in a whirlwind of casting, directing, producing, writing and acting.

This last week, his new Atticus Finch adventure took a leap to L.A. — and not just a few miles from where his life changed forever.

This week, Thomas is heading north on Interstate 5, the new movie’s major transportation artery, the way it intersects with the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles. The movie’s final scenes are set on the 405.

Atticus Finch was born in 1835. In those few short years, the young lawyer made his way to Springfield and served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Over the next 50 years, he became a leading defender of African-Americans. And when the Civil War erupted, he took up the cause by volunteering for the Union army.

In 1865, when black people were being lynched nightly from the South to the North, a group of black men and women asked Finch for help. He accepted and became one of the first African-Americans to serve on the Supreme Court, where he worked for more than 30 years.

I was one of three reporters from “The Los Angeles Times” who were invited to the premiere of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” at a private screening in Marina Del Rey.

We weren’t on the red carpet by chance. We were invited by Hollywood’s

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