fletch update

Another Fletch movie has been in the works for around 20 years now. Based on Gregory McDonald‘s novels, the investigative journalist first hit the big screen back in 1985 with Chevy Chase giving one of his most sincere and career-defining performances. Since 2011, a reboot and origin story, titled Fletch Won, has been kicking around in development.  Warner Bros. envisioned a comedy franchise when SNL alum Jason Sudeikis signed up to star, but a year later, the reboot landed at Relativity and seemingly never picked up momentum. Since then, Relativity went bankrupt and we’ve heard very little about the project. There are no new major developments to share, but Sudeikis did recently tell us the reboot is still possible and what he has in mind for the role.

Years ago, Fletch Won was described as an origin story and an action-comedy along the lines of Beverly Hills Cop and Midnight Run. This description was published years ago, though, so who knows what’s changed, but Sudeikis is still very much interested in the role once played by an idol of his. When Sudeikis spoke to us for his new movie, Driven, he said the project could still happen and told us his take on the character is less inspired by Chase and more influenced by McDonald’s writing:

My take on him is that he is the guy that’s always in search of the truth and was letdown all over the place. I don’t know how familiar you are with the books that Gregory McDonald wrote, but he came out with several of them, about a dozen or more. And I love Chevy Chase’s version of him, his take on him. He’s like one of those actors that I was raised on in a way. Him, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Michael Keaton, Bruce Willis, all these guys that I was like, ‘Oh. that would be neat to grow up and be like that one day,’ now realizing that ‘Oh, they’re actors.’

My take on it would be that it is less about the disguises and more about the search for truth, which is more important now than it’s ever been. If that were to ever happen, that’s what I can surmise it would be because the truth is on trial these days in many different ways, so Fletch might be the superhero that we both need and want.

The role of Irwin M. Fletcher is a tall order, but ever since Sudeikis was announced to star as the witty but deeply caring journalist, the idea of him in the role has grown more and more promising. Sudeikis already proved himself long ago to have a remarkable range as a performer on SNL, but he’s been an exciting actor to watch these last few years with some terrific movies like Colossal, in which he defied expectations as a terrifying antagonist, and Sleeping with Other People, one of the best rom-coms of the 21st century. I think he could bring the sincerity as well as the laughs needed for Fletch.

Long before Sudeikis committed to the reboot, the role understandably scared actors off. Ryan Reynolds, for example, passed on the part knowing the high expectations involved, and he wasn’t the only actor intimidated by the prospect of taking on a role Chase owned. Ben Affleck probably came the closest to playing the journalist for director Kevin Smith, but it was another failed attempt in a long series of false starts. If another Fletch movie does ever happen, though, Sudeikis remains an ideal choice for the part, with or without the goofy costumes.

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