David Mandel to Write ‘Fletch’

The backstory of a new Fletch movie goes back at least ten years, to when Universal and Kevin Smith started talking about adapting the novel Fletch Won as a sequel/prequel to Fletch (’85) and Fletch Lives (’89). The project moved to Miramax, but Kevin Smith eventually moved on. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence was going to make the movie, and at one point it looked like Zach Braff might step in as a young Fletch. That failed, too, and Steve Pink became the new director.

But now Warner Bros. has rights to the Gregory McDonald Fletch novels and the studio is just going to remake (or reimagine, as it may be) the first film that originally starred Chevy Chase. The first step in that process is a script, and David Mandel has just been hired to write it. Read More »

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Warner Bros Rebooting ‘Fletch’

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Warner Bros have pre-emptively picked up the movie rights to Gregory McDonald‘s 11-book Fletch mystery novel series.  Chevy Chase originally played Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher in Michael Ritchie’s 1985 film Fletch, and the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives. Heatvision is reporting that no writer or director has been attached but the studio is “aiming for a reimagining, not a remake, and hope to make an smart action comedy that plays out on a bigger canvas than the previous movies.” Hollywood has been trying to bring Fletch back to the big screen for the last decade.

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If the ’80s gave a sniffling speech at the Decade Achievement Awards, Harold Faltermeyer and his scores would be thanked somewhere after Shigeru Miyamoto and Super Mario Bros. and Magic Johnson’s Lakers. A classically trained German composer with an affinity for rock and disco, Faltermeyer got his start in Hollywood assisting mustachioed electro-don Georgio Moroder on soundtracks for Oliver Stone’s provocative Midnight Express and Adrian Lyne’s jail-bait fave Foxes. With the release of Beverly Hills Cop in 1984, everyone acknowledges how Faltermeyer’s theme song, “Axel F,” hopped into bed with America’s zeitgeist like few songs before or since. The track’s equation of urgent nightlife synths plus cool-black-dude drum effects, then buffered to an upbeat Cali finish, not only paralleled the confident, crowd-pleaser m.o. of sure-shot producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, it embodied and celebrated it.

Soon following “Axel F,” Faltermeyer crafted incredibly memorable and fun themes/scores for Fletch and Top Gun, rising to the occasion by sonically matching the unmatched charisma of Chevy Chase and Tom Cruise on screen in the mid ’80s. Reflecting on the three themes today, not to mention his work on actioners The Running Man and Tango & Cash, it’s difficult to express how Faltermeyer shaped the way audiences then and now remember the ’80s as a time of just-plain-exciting innocence and excess, a time when the buddy-cop formula and toothy superstar grins felt fresh. It’s this feeling and nostalgia Kevin Smith is paying pop-homage to with Cop Out, another bid for a mainstream hit from the ’90s slacker auteur starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Smith personally requested Faltermeyer—who’s remained inactive on major soundtracks since the ’92 copper Kuffs—score the film with his signature sound. The catchy result is felt by several critics to be the best thing about the action-comedy. (Stream it here.)

In an interview with /Film, Faltermeyer talked about his creative process and about “crazy shit” including the late Don Simpson’s finesse with a Ferrari.

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Fletch

Chevy Chase has joined the cast of United Artist’s R-Rated sci-fi comedy Hot Tub Time Machine. The Steve Pink-directed, Josh Heald-scripted film tells the story of a group of guys (John Cusack, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson) who return to the hot tub they once partied in, only to discover it is a time machine that allows them to go back in time to their “days of glory.”We’ve heard many good things about the script.

Case will play a seemingly crazy repairman who might be the only one who can held the trio return to the present day. THR says that the character “dispenses pearls of wisdom and may or may not be behind the metaphysical road trip.”

The article goes on to say that Chase is currently considering reprise the role of Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher in a reboot of the Fletch movie series. Apparently The Weinstein Co has a new script which would involve a semi-returned Fletch passing the torch to his journalist nephew, and advising him on his stories. Sounds like a rather lame way of including Chase in the project.
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Fletch Author Gregory Mcdonald Dead at 71

Gregory Mcdonald died on Sunday at age 71 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Mcdonald is best known as the best-selling author of the Fletch book series, which was later adapted into a feature film series starring Chevy Chase. Mcdonald’s Running Scared and The Brave were also adapted for the big screen. Mcdonald had 26 published books and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award twice. Before writing the Fletch novels, Mcdonald was a journalist for the Boston Globe. He is survived by his wife, Cherlye, and five children.

Mcdonald ‘s most recent brush with Hollywood involved the development of a Fletch prequel called Fletch Won. Kevin Smith was originally attached to write and direct but left when studio heads weren’t confident in Jason Lee for the lead role. Scrubs writer/director Bill Lawrence came on board with Zach Braff attached to star. Both Braff and Lawrence left the project in 2007, replaced with Accepted director Steve Pink. No word on the current state of the project.

source: AP

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Like a good number of dudes and a fair number of gals, I haven’t followed the NBA with much interest since Michael Jordan exited in 2003. Tried, but too much bark and vanity in my opinion, not to mention the Lakers. Jordan’s remained super low-key since his final retirement–a few Hanes cameos and the ever present Jumpman23 logo–but now a documentary is set to be made about him and his unparalleled career by bud and former sidekick, director Spike Lee. According to Lee, the doc is tentatively set to premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival.

It will reportedly feature a decent amount of exclusive footage from Jordan’s later and middling years with the Washington Wizards. No other information has been released. Jordan’s made a few trips to theaters in the past, including 1996′s infamous belly flop Space Jam, 2003′s Looney Tunes: Back in Action (aww, Joe Dante) and 2002′s decent if empty IMAX doc …to the Max. I was hoping for a more independent, introspective look here, but since the NBA is financing the pic, maybe next time. But Lee’s not one to compromise (he gave a pretty ballsy “fight the man” speech at my alma mater), so I’m sure his take won’t be shinier than Jordan’s dome.

Wait a sec, what’s that sound? It’s the sound of my younger brother incessantly talking my ear off about Scottie Pippen for the entire ’90s. Get out of here ghost.

Discuss: So, of course MJ deserves this doc. That’s a given. But in your opinion, which NBA player was/is the best actor (in movies, not foul drawing)? My picks are Kareem in Bruce Lee’s Game of Death and Fletch (obvi), followed up by Bo Kimble in Heaven is a Playground. If any of you remember that one, you’re cool 4 life.

Oh Boy. It’s the Slashfilm Clean-Up!

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There’s a lot of minor news breaking today and falling in between the cushions of Slashfilm’s buttery soft couch. I’ve decided to reach in and present the tasty morsels for your enjoyment. Don’t like some of ‘em? Well, your dog doesn’t discriminate and if it does, surprise, it’s a kitty.

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October’s Max Payne video adaptation continues to build a curious borderline-honor roll of a cast, with Chris O’Donnell (Robin) climbing out of the Where Are They Now File to star alongside Mark Wahlberg (title role), the foxy Mila Kunis (uh, assassin love interest), Beau friggin’ Bridges (mentor) and Donal Logue (not playing Jimmy the Cab Driver). O’Donnell will play nipple-free “executive Jason Colvin.” Exciting, innit? Now, if only the film was rated R. (EW)

javier_bardem.jpgJavier Bardem, the biggest star in born again director Francis Ford Coppola‘s follow-up to Youth Without Youth, Tetro, has either dropped out or been replaced on a huge creative whim. Coppola will recast the role of Bardem’s mentor to Vincent Gallo’s title character with Carmen Maura, whom you may have caught in Volver. Hmmm, Coppola could have certainly used the awareness of the Oscar winner. Too bad. (HR) As we all do when a job falls through, Bardem is said to be considering a role as a respected wine critic in a film entitled The First Emperor starring naughty monkeys Helen Mirren and Hugh Grant. (DH)

The horror! Another fresh face from The O.C. has washed ashore on Crystal Lake. Amanda Rhigetti, an 8, is close to signing on as the female lead in Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th. How about a cameo by Adam Brody’s head? (Variety)

Latino Review sum up Sam Raimi‘s script to his upcoming Drag Me to Hell with three words: Predictable as hell. Slashfilm previously summed up the entire movie even more succinctly with: Justin Long. Obviously we’re too smart to add “as hell” to that. However, that was before we caught Long’s performance in The Sasquatch Gang (now on DVD), which was maddeningly chuckle-inducing. “Predictable as hell” it is, then.

Billy Crudup is that guy you call when your film is looking good. He’ll play J. Edgar Hoover (kinky) in Michael Mann‘s Public Enemies, which stars Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and the Dorf and has as much chance as sucking as UNC losing the Final Four. Jinx? Hardly. [Variety]

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Where’s my sickly neighbor from 1988′s inhaler? Joshua Jackson says he will not be playing Fletch in the remake. Chevy Chase’s is one of my favorite Chevy Chase films. I say cast Michael Cera and let Jason Lee choke on a furball. [MTV]

The new film from Heathers writer/legend Daniel Waters opens tomorrow in select theaters. It’s called Sex and Death 101. Here’s an interview with Waters that’s so chockfull of amazingly pretentious, pseudo-intellectual name dropping it makes us realize how rarely we come across screenwriter interviews like this anymore. More Waters, please.

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Hard hitter producer Graham King (The Departed, Blood Diamond) and Warner Bros. hope to bring the Hugo Award-winning sci-fi series Hyperion Cantos to life on screen via a script by relative newcomer Trevor Sands. I’m not familiar with author Dan Simmons‘s works, but the plot is said to be set on a planet called Hyperion that has lucid blue skies, “electricity-spewing trees,” and a mysterious region called the Time Tombs, where time travel evidently goes down amongst artifacts. And a very pissed off monster guards them. Ooh la la. Sands will combine the first two novels, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion in his script. An original, brainy sci-fi film? All for it. Any fans, please sounds off in the comments below. (HR)

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