Chevy Chase has played a few iconic characters over the years. The comedy genius has a career that spans decades and encompasses all manner of funny. So it stands to reason that we would see different roles he’s played in the past rebooted in some fashion. And that’s going to happen soon, with a remake of Fletch beginning shooting and production in less than a month. The new star is a bit unexpected considering Chase’s sketch comedy background. It’s going to be Jon Hamm taking up the lead as the “master of disguise” in what could be a chance to really show the actor’s comedy chops.
The news of the Chevy Chase Fletch reboot came via director Greg Mottola’s Twitter account. He shared the first page of the script, titled Confess, Fletch which also shows the screenwriter Zev Borow and reminds us that this is an adaptation of the novel by Gregory McDonald who penned the series of Fletch books back in the 70s. Jon Hamm is left out of this announcement, but we know he’s headed for the starring role. Check out Mottola’s tweet:
Chevy Chase popularized the Fletch character back in the 1980s with two very funny films, Fletch and Fletch Lives. The former has been among the most quoted movies during its heyday thanks to Chase’s snark and deadpan delivery. It follows the exploits of Irwin R. Fletcher, an investigative reporter who uses loose disguise to track down different leads around increasingly ridiculous circumstances. It’s a silly movie through and through, meant to highlight Chase’s particular brand of comedy. And it totally worked. It will be interesting to see if Jon Hamm can carry the same kind of comedic load.
The Confess, Fletch comes from the title of McDonald’s second novel in the series which includes 11 books in all. There’s speculation that this Jon Hamm version of the character will only be loosely based on the actual books, likely drawing parts of the story, but not adapting it whole cloth. And though he is set to play the same character as Chevy Chase, there’s likely to be major differences in the approach. Considering the character himself changed over the course of the novels, it’s likely we get a more high-brow version in this adaptation.
Jon Hamm had mentioned that filming was originally supposed to begin in the spring, but is now gearing up for production to start in July. It will take place in New York City, a move away from the Los Angeles setting of the first two movies, another change likely meant to distance Hamm’s character from that of what Chevy Chase played on screen.
Fletch was a solid box office hit when Chevy Chase first hit screens back in the 1980s. It earned $59 million on its $8 million budget and launched a whole generation of people mimicking the character’s style and quoting the film incessantly. It became something of a cult classic in this way. It will be interesting to see if Jon Hamm is able to capture the same energy and staying power that Chase had.