For the past two months, Critical Hit and entertainment writers from other websites/publications like Media24, TMR, and Big Screen Hooligans have been participating in a weekly movie quiz presented by Darren from Big Screen Hooligans. It’s a really fun bit of movie geekery… and I have been owning it! Questions are often obscure and retro, but my brain’s habit of remembering all kinds of movie minutiae from ages past has put me far ahead on the leader board at this moment. I mention this not to brag (okay, maybe brag a little), but because even with that knowledgebase stuck in my head, I can still only barely remember Fletch.
Released in 1985 – and followed up with the sequel Fletch Lives in 1989 – Fletch starred Chevy Chase as the titular Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher, an oddball reporter for the LA Times who uses unusual methods to get his story… and that’s all I remember. And I’m sure that’s the case for many of you reading this as well. I know the comedy neo-noir films were well-received critically and developed a bit of a cult following in certain circles, but they never really entered the cultural zeitgeist for some reason. Jon Hamm is hoping that I’m wrong in that assertion though as the actor is looking to revive the Fletch name once more.
THR brings the news, reporting that Hamm will star and produce this new film, which will reboot Fletch with a modern-day twist. Greg Mottola, the director behind Superbad and Adventureland, and who also helmed a bunch of episodes for Arrested Development, The Newsroom, and Dave, will be behind the camera for this. The script is being penned by Zev Borow, a TV writer known most prominently for his work on Chuck.
Just like Chase’s movies, this new Fletch will be based on late author Gregory McDonald’s original mystery novel series. McDonald wrote 11 Fletch novels between 1974 and 1985, several of which were actually prequels to the original tale. A prequel feature film adaptation of one of these had been banging around Hollywood for decades now, but that production never got much traction. That’s probably why Hamm and co are now looking for a fresh start rather.
Unlike Chase’s 1985 film which is based on McDonald’s first novel, this new Fletch film will instead adapt “Confess, Fletch”, the second book in the series. Here’s the official synopsis from Amazon:
Offering up brisk, tightly written plots and a stellar cast of characters both new and old, Confess, Fletch finds our incorrigible protagonist back in deep waters once again.
Fletch, now newly engaged and happily living out his days in Italy, finds himself embroiled in yet another scandal. His soon-to-be father-in-law has been kidnapped and is now presumed dead, and the priceless collection of rare art that belongs to his fiancée’s family has been stolen.
Ever the investigative reporter, he receives a tip about the missing art that lands him in Boston, where he walks right into a murder scene in his apartment. What clearly looks like a setup to the unfazed Fletch looks quite different to the detective assigned to the case, Mr. Francis Xavier Flynn. But even if the case is seemingly cut-and-dry, Flynn is reluctant to arrest the only suspect that stands before him.
Now under the detective’s watchful eye, Fletch must try to clear his name and search for the missing paintings, all while his gorgeous future mother-in-law works to persuade him for help the best way she knows how—seduction.
I think I need to add Fletch to my list for weekly retro movie watch. That’s if I can find it anywhere, since not even streaming services appear to remember it.
Last Updated: July 16, 2020