Update! : Seems Warner Bros – who now own the rights; they snapped them up in Feb – didn’t take too much notice of Zach Braff’s (below) declaration – one I think we can all agree is spot-on – that you can’t do a “Fletch” movie without Chevy Chase. The Hollywood Reporter announced today that the studio has tapped David Mandel (“The Dictator”) to write a “reimaginging” of the long-gestating ‘Fletch’ film – at one stage titled “Fletch Won” (and set to star Braff) and set up with Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The trade says that Warners “hope to make a smart action comedy that plays out on a bigger canvas than the previous movies. The project is said to be a high priority for the studio, and a great vehicle for an A-list comedy star. Sources said Mandel beat out several high-profile scribes for the opportunity to write the script”. Please, just let it go, will you!?
Zach Braff has been on and off “Fletch Won”, the Weinstein’s long-proposed reboot of the Gregory MacDonald “Fletch” series, for years now. Though I don’t believe he’s ever been oficially attached to the project, the former “Scrubs” star has been the frontrunner to play the investigative reporter – the character Chevy Chase played in the films “Fletch” and “Fletch Lives” – since the days of Kevin Smith’s involvement (about five years back). Braff, not at all surprisingly, remained the favourite to play the role when Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs”) took on the project in 2005.
In a new interview with Cinema Blend, Braff confirms that he won’t be playing Irwin ‘Fletch’ Fletcher but more so, doesn’t think a “Fletch” movie without original series star Chevy Chase would even work.
“It’ll never be me”, Braff tells the site, “I don’t want to touch that – that franchise is pretty amazing. It was really flattering that people talked about me for it but I don’t know how you can have Fletch without it being Chevy (Chase). If you’re going to do Fletch I think you should maybe do a version with Chevy that flashes back [to when the character was younger] and then flashes [forward to Chevy]… because they’re trying to do Young Fletch, which is a cool concept, but you’ve still got to flash-forward to Chevy.”
Smart man, couldn’t agree more…. but boy has he changed his tune.
In 2005, Braff told About.com that he’s definitely interested in playing the character, especially if his old “Scrubs” boss is shepherding the movie.
“I am interested. There’s not a person more perfect to do Fletch than Bill [Lawrence]. He really is a huge [fan]. He grew up reading the books. It’s one of his favorite movies of all time. There was debate with other directors and with Harvey [Weinstein] about whether to go back to the books totally, which really don’t have any of that broad comedy stuff in them, or to do something in between which was find some of the humor in the broadness of some of the Chevy Chase stuff while at the same time being faithful to the way the books were. I think Bill is going to do a great job of that. In terms of my involvement, I don’t know. I’m not signed on to do it yet, but it’s definitely something I’m intrigued with.”
What do you think guys, do you agree with Braff’s comments about the “Fletch” movie? That it needs Chevy Chase?