Fletch Getting a Reboot
Posted 02.04.11 by Ryan
One of the seminal comedies of the 1980s, Fletch, followed Chevy Chase as investigative reporter I.M. Fletcher, whose report on the drug-trafficking at the Los Angeles beach front takes a turn when a wealthy businessman (Tim Mattheson) asks Fletch to murder him. The 1985 movie, based on the first of late author Gregory MacDonald's 11-volume Fletch series, spawned a 1989 sequel, Fletch Lives, which, while it had its moments, didn't inspire more installments.
After years of development purgatory, THR reports that Warner Bros. has picked up the movie rights to all 11 of MacDonald's Fletch books, with the intent of "reimagining" the books into a more action-driven franchise. No writer or director has been attached so far, but the first step has been taken for those fans looking forward to another Fletch.
There were other attempts to reboot the franchise, the most infamous being the adaptation of Fletch Won, MacDonald's book about Fletch's early years, with Kevin Smith set to direct and adapt the screenplay. The movie would have had Chase serve as narrator, while a younger actor would fill in as Fletch, but Smith had trouble convincing former studio Miramax that frequent collaborator Jason Lee would be the perfect choice for the part. Smith finally admitted in a 2006 webchat hosted by the Washington Post that he had given up.
Fletch is off the table for me. After lobbying for six years to cast Jason Lee as the young Irwin Fletcher, it became painfully clear that it wasn't gonna happen. I thought after [Lee's TV show] My Name is Earl took off, it'd be easier to get it done, but even then, the studio was more interested in Zach Braff. And as much as I dig Zach Braff, I always saw Lee in that role. So me and that flick had to part ways. It's a shame, because Lee would've been golden.
Smith was unsurprisingly replaced by Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence, but the project still languished. Finally, it looks like something might happen with Fletch.
Producing the movie should be simple for Warner Bros. since all the studio has to do is put the entire production on the Underhill's American Express card. Want the number?