Spotlight Movie // Fletch One

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Fletch Prepares for Triumphant Return
  After years of rumors and false starts, "Fletch" will finally be resurrected early next year. Variety says Kevin Smith has completed a draft of "Fletch One" and filming will commence in January.

Smith's involvement signals a significant change for the long-dormant "Fletch" franchise. Speaking with Variety writer Michael Fleming, Smith says his version of the Fletch character will differ from Chevy Chase's incarnation because it will be drawn from author Gregory McDonald's books (yes, Fletch comes from the highfalutin' literary world).

"We've taken an early novel where the author told the origin of how Fletch got his job on a newspaper," Smith says. "It will stick much closer to McDonald's brilliant dialogue and great characters, and the model for this film is 'Out of Sight.'"

"Out of Sight," the exceptional 1998 George Clooney-Jennifer Lopez film, was Slickly adapted from Elmore Leonard's novel by director Steven Soderbergh. If "Fletch One" successfully follows the same path, Smith may lure critics and audiences alike.

Casting for "Fletch One" has not begun, but Smith tells Variety his "short list" for the Fletch role includes Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon and Adam Sandler.--Mac Slocum

Editor's Note: This film was previously referred to on this page as "Fletch Won." Contrary to how it appears, this wasn't an error because the book upon which the film appears to be based is titled "Fletch Won." So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Posted: 08/14/03

Fletch Prequel Picks Up Steam
  Kevin Smith's long-rumored "Fletch" movie is kicking in the womb. An item at Dark Horizons says Smith will not work on a "Fletch" sequel, instead turning his attention to adapting the novel "Fletch Won" into a prequel. The book, written by Gregory MacDonald, focuses on Fletch's first investigative report. While hacking his way through low-rent society articles, Fletch stumbles upon a crime scene and decides to pursue the story against his editor's wishes. While digging up the goods, Fletch begins to morph into a wise-cracking, master-of-disguise. Clearly, the film role will require a young, quick-talking, quick-thinking smartass. Two actors who fit that description, and have both been mentioned as leads for this project, are Ben Affleck and Jason Lee. Fortunately, recent news says Lee has the inside track, which means Affleck won't be able to destroy another beloved franchise (he's starring as Jack Ryan in "The Sum of All Fears").

Lee's casting seems likely, but one question still lingering is the involvement of Chevy Chase. Chase, the star of "Fletch" and "Fletch Lives," was once rumored for a cameo role in "Fletch Won," but comments noted in the Dark Horizons item suggest that Smith doesn't think too highly of Chase. Nevertheless, official casting has yet to begin, so there's still a chance Chase will be involved in some capacity.

Smith recently completed work on the fifth Viewaskewniverse film ("Clerks," "Mallrats," "Chasing Amy," and "Dogma" are the others in the series), so it's likely his next project will be "Fletch Won." If production begins in the next few months, there's a shot we'll see this movie in late 2001 or early 2002.
Posted: 11/09/00

"Fletch" Resurrected by Kevin Smith
Irwin S. Fletcher  
© 1985 Universal Pictures  
"Can I borrow your towel? My car just hit a water buffalo."
-- From "Fletch" (1985)

Fans of quick-witted comedy will rejoice in the news that writer/director/comic-book lover Kevin Smith will write and direct the third "Fletch" film for Miramax. Based on a series of novels by Gregory Mcdonald and admirably brought to the screen by Chevy Chase, the "Fletch" franchise has been DOA since 1989's "Fletch Lives." Rumors suggesting Smith would write and/or direct the third installment have swirled around the Web since '97, but nothing official came to pass until recently. Now The Hollwood Reporter says Smith may adapt Mcdonald's novel "Fletch Won" into a screenplay and Coming Attractions says Smith-favorites Ben Affleck and Jason Lee are being considered for the starring role. I'll put my money on Affleck—he's no Jack Ryan (see the archive) but he could definitely handle Fletch. News on Chevy Chase's involvement hasn't surfaced, but when it does I'll be sure to pass it along in a timely manner.
Posted: 6/29/00