In a disturbing Hollywood trend, Warner Bros. is now close to rebooting another great comedy from the 1980s.
Fletch still remains one of our favorite 80s comedies, but Warner Bros. wants to turn it into a "smart, action comedy that plays out on a much larger canvas."
Having already starred in Vacation, Caddyshack and Saturday Night Live, Chevy Chase was an established comedy star by the time Fletch released in 1985. While Fletch may have been based on an eleven book series, few would argue that Chevy Chase is the only reason for Fletch's iconic status in movies. Some would say Irwin Fletcher is an intriguing character, no matter who plays the part, but it is tough to imagine Fletch without Chevy Chase.
It's understandable that some classics are going to get a reboot for modern audiences - and the Weinstein Co. has been attempting to reboot this franchise for over a decade. If the film company had allowed Kevin Smith to make his proposed Fletch prequel starring Jason Lee then it may have had a real shot at capitalizing on the source material while bringing something new to the table. Lee is one of few comedians today that possesses an ability similar to Chase - combining the sarcasm and wit the role would require.
The core problem here is what Warner Bros. wants to do with the character. The studio has picked up the rights to all 11 books from which the original films (Fletch, Fletch Lives) were based on. But the original novels were not nearly as hilarious as Chase's interpretation. Heat Vision has the scoop:
"No writer or director is aboard [sic], but Warners and the producers are aiming for a reimagining, not a remake, and hope to make a [sic] smart action comedy that plays out on a bigger canvas than the previous movies."
What does Warner Bros. mean by "a bigger canvas"? It could mean something like National Treasure, which somewhat fits Fletch's style. If Warner Bros. executives do their homework, they might stumble upon what truly made Fletch so funny - Chevy Chase. The scale of the movie is irrelevant as long as it manages to be funny - that is, if they want to capture what made the original so great.
The entertainment industry does not need any more Seth Rogen action comedies. So, who could fill Fletch's shoes in a potential reboot?
Note: These are our own opinions - no one is currently associated with the production. The only sure thing right now is Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the book series.
- Joel McHale - The perfect blend of charisma and comedic timing. He has spent plenty of time with Chevy Chase in Community and may have picked up a nuance or two in the process.
- Ryan Reynolds - Reynolds seems to get every role under the sun these days, but he has proven more than capable of delivering action, comedy and charisma all at once. If Warner Bros. wants a big name in this film that can handle the "bigger canvas," Reynolds is a perfect fit.
- John Krasinski - His popularity has diminished a bit, but there is something to his delivery as Jim Halpert that rings true to the character of Irwin Fletcher.
- Jason Lee - The Weinstein Co. didn't want him because they thought he wasn't enough of a star. Now that he has his own hit television series, maybe he could get another shot.
- Jason Sudeikis - He has yet to shine in a leading role on film, but has shown the comedic chops to be successful in certain circumstances. His comedy thrives on witty comments and he grows a killer mustache that might serve him well in undercover situations.
The undying effort to bring back the character of Gregory McDonald's novels is proof at how timeless the material is. If Chevy Chase hadn't portrayed Fletch with such memorable charisma, we might not be complaining about a potential reboot. As most fans of the films will attest, this isn't an awful idea. Rather, it just needs the proper focus and casting to work. Unfortunately, at this point, we don't know the true direction of the reboot - aside from Warner Bros.' brief statement.
Either Warner Bros. will stay true to the source material and create a character worth remembering that rests somewhere between James Bond and Axel Foley (Beverly Hills Cop) or they'll go for the money and hire a big-name star to simply cash in on yet another remake. Let's hope they put the effort in to actually create a fully-formed character that might produce a great modern franchise. It is a tough task to try and push Chevy Chase's performance to the back burner, but not impossible. For now, we remain skeptical at this idea until further details emerge.
Who would you like to see play Fletch? Would you like to see anybody play him at all? Sound off in the comments section below.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter