Jason Sudeikis has been pencilled in to step into the scruffy basketball sneakers of Irwin M Fletcher in Warner Bros’ Fletch Won. Based on the 1970s mystery novels of Gregory McDonald, the original Fletch saw Chevy Chase as an investigative reporter with a penchant for elaborate disguises, getting in over his head when an LA businessman arranges to have himself murdered…by him. A big hit in 1985, Michael Ritchie’s film spawned a sequel four years later, Fletch Lives, in which Chase confronts murder, TV Evangelism and the Ku Klux Klan.
Since then, several attempts have been made to kick-start the franchise, notably by Kevin Smith who was announced as writer and director of Fletch Won for Miramax back in 2000. Now, Warners have given the green light to a new script that has attracted the attention of Jason Sudeikis. It is unknown at this stage if the film will be a prequel (as Kevin Smith had planned), a reboot, a remake, a reimagining or an entirely new kind of ‘re.’
Sudeikis is one of the latest stars to graduate from the university of Saturday Night Live. His ten-year run there was followed up by scene-stealing supporting roles in Horrible Bosses, Hall Pass and The Campaign. However, his ship came in last year when We’re The Millers, his first major lead role, went on to make over $150m in the US alone. Between now and Fletch Won, he’ll be teaming up again with Jason Bateman and his ‘Millers’ wife, Jennifer Aniston for Horrible Bosses 2 in November this year.
Only time will tell if Sudeikis will be required to sing Moon River while receiving a prostate examination – “Are you using the whole fist there, Doc?” – or if Harold Faltermeyer will be recruited to dust off his second most famous 80s movie score. Perhaps mindful of the fact that several 1980s movie remakes have underperformed recently – Robocop, Endless Love, Footloose, About Last Night – the producers David List, Steve Golin and Michael Sugar are planning to distance their new Fletch movie from the 1985 original. According to The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Fletch Won is…described as a gritty action comedy with heart and more tonally in line with McDonald’s novels than the Chase movies.’