In February, Warner Bros. purchased the movie rights to all 11 volumes of the Fletch novel series written by the late author Gregory MacDonald, and they're finally getting to work on their first installment.
Of course, audiences are more familiar with the character of investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher because of the 1985 adaptation of Fletch, based on the first of MacDonald's novels and starring Chevy Chase as the incorrigible title character. Warners doesn't plan to remake the original movie, but rather "re-imagine" the movie, and the first order of business was to hire Seinfeld writer and Curb Your Enthusiasm producer and director David Mandel. The move seems to say that the studio is looking to highlight the comedic aspects of the books, though reportedly Warners is looking to "make a smart action comedy that plays out on a bigger canvas than the previous movies."
Whether the next Fletch movie will start by adapting the first MacDonald novel or with a later novel is unknown, though the 1985 original liberally borrowed dialogue from MacDonald's novel, and starting from that point would seem to be more along the lines of a remake and not the "re-imaging" that Warners reportedly wants to make.
Mandel could choose to start with MacDonald's 1985 novel Fletch Won, the eighth novel in the series that went back to the early days of Fletch's career, though both writer/director Kevin Smith and producer Bill Lawrence separately attempted to adapt the novel into a movie and both projects languished instead. Posted 05.23.11 by Ryan