Novelist Gregory McDonald’s crime-solving journalist Irwin M. Fletcher, known as “Fletch,” has never been an ordinary hero. After Chevy Chase rocked his own, full-on actor in 1985. Fletch and its sequel, the film languished in limbo for three decades as various filmmakers sought – and failed – to bring Fletch back to the big screen.
Fortunately, Fletch’s time in Hollywood purgatory ended this year when filmmaker Greg Mottola and Crazy men star Jon Hamm joined Admit it, Fletch, based on the second book in the McDonald’s series. The film puts Hamm in the lead role, and has Fletch investigating an international art theft that – as things often happen around him – turns out to be more complicated than it seems.
Mottola sat down with Digital Trends to discuss what sets Hamm’s version of Fletch apart from its predecessor, what makes IM Fletcher unique, and whether we’ll be seeing more Fletch stories down the road.
Digital Trends: After the Fletch franchise Chevy Chase had some trouble getting back on screen. How did you find your way, or vice versa, to make this film?
Greg Mottola: Jon came to me about two years ago and told me he came to Miramax. They said, “We have rights to all the books, but the first one.” Have you ever wanted to play Fletch? Unbeknownst to them, when Jon saw the original Fletch As a young man he went and found the books and read them. He was a broke teenager, so he stole from Waldenbooks, he said. He loved them and knew there was another way to make movies.
The first movie was a Chevy Chase car, Chevy brought a lot of shine to its style. I love that movie. But Jon said to me, “I can’t do a Chevy Chase impersonation. That’s not good. I want to make it sound like a book.” I love detective stories and movies based on them, so I read the first five or six books, and absolutely loved them.
How did you decide Admit it, Fletch How to adapt the story?
Jon thought ahead Admit it, Fletch He made the most sense that is made now, and even before I got involved, there was another writer, Zev Borow, who was adapting that one. Zev is a great writer, and he turned a script that was – as Jon put it – into a great, funny movie… for Chevy Chase. Zev is a big fan of the original and I think he couldn’t help trying to write it Fletch 3. It’s not that it’s not good. It was very good. We felt that was not what we wanted to try to do.
So, because Zev didn’t use as much of the book as I’d hoped, I did a pass and went back to the book, and took characters and scenes and things inspired by the book and put them back into the text. I also changed the tone of the comic, knowing Jon the way I do and writing for his dry wit and ability to lean on charm to avoid being intellectual. It started from there.
Chevy Chase is a tough act to follow. What aspects did you focus on to make the Fletch version unique?
One of the things I absolutely love about Fletch’s Chevy version is the kind of Marx Brothers level chaos he will bring to any situation. He used to confuse people so that they didn’t know how to answer. These were things that were not necessarily in the book. All these were his.
In Jon’s case, the character clearly has a moral code in some areas, and none at all in others. It’s an interesting, unusual way. I always feel that he is on the right side, but I don’t think that he has to do much wrong to get justice or truth or anything else. It’s kind of a wish-fulfillment thing, because we live in a time where there are a lot of bad people doing bad things, who don’t seem to have any problems. Fletch is a man who likes, “I’m not going to wait for the justice system or the police. I’m going to go in there and do this.”
But there is a sense that he never punches. He just really hits the nail on the head. He only goes the extra step of confusing people whether they are privileged or unworthy leaders. For example, he respects Griz (Ayden Mayeri) and Monroe (Roy Wood Jr.), the two policemen who follow him in the film, but he will constantly lie – even though he loves them badly. And I think they like him, too.
What was it about Jon that fit the character so well?
Jon can be very dry. This behavior does not have to be emotional. He can have a positive attitude towards people and express it in his own way, but he is never dark. He’s not Don Draper. It has no dark history. He is not haunted. I have no injuries. Life kind of goes through this breezy process and kicks people out—or kicks them. I think he’s having fun. I think he loves life.
Jon has played a lot of dark characters, he’s also played a lot of very silly comedic characters. [Jon] he makes Fletch seem like a real human being, which is to give a wonderful performance in places, but [this version of Fletch] also Jon allows himself to be funny frequently, but very dry, more subtle. As a fan of his and a friend, I’m really excited to work with him on that.
The Admit it, Fletch The novel was published almost 50 years ago. When you were making this film, what went into bringing the story to a modern setting?
One of the things I really like about the books is that Greg McDonald sneaks into the social commentary of them all. There are different things about the sexual revolution Admit it, Fletch and other social things and other things that were funny and interesting and, I think, great observations at the time. But that was a different moment. So I thought, “Let’s sneak in a little commentary on the moment we’re living in right now.”
For example, I deal with the fact that Jon, looking at the way he acts, can kind of walk into the world of rich people – yacht clubs and high art galleries and expensive houses – and they’ll see him as one of them. . Fletch doesn’t have the same system as those people, but he’s happy to let them think he does, because that allows him to get away with whatever he wants to get away with. And that’s about the movie. His white privilege is called out in the character of Roy Wood Jr., and elsewhere, too.
The character of Lucy Punch (Tatiana Tasserly), a wealthy entrepreneur, is the epitome of the idea that there are people on Instagram and other places who are constantly telling everyone that they can check themselves – and they do. What they need is the best. home and designer clothing and beauty products and the most expensive vacations in the Caribbean. And it’s like, “Yeah, that’s great. You are really rich The people you are selling to are really rich. But you make the rest of us feel bad, because we can’t do that.”
The fact that there is no acknowledgment from such people, that what they are doing is trading in this world of wealth differences, is something that I feel Fletch actively hates. So my strategy for that scene was to have Fletch come in and do something worse than confuse her. He acts even more deeply and contemptuously than her, so she loses it and throws it away.
The film’s supporting cast is amazing. Have there been any performances that have surprised you, maybe brought something to a character that you didn’t expect at first?
Yes, I was very lucky with the cast. One of the ways we broke the Fletch curse was that we agreed to do it in very little time and for very little money. And we got all these greats to come and do it big for me and Jon.
Annie Mumolo’s equivalent character in the book is the sweet one who lives around the house where the murder took place. She is a sad character who clearly loves the man who lives in the apartment. I wanted to keep those aspects, but I didn’t think I had the space to create a real picture of her like they do in the story. I had to limit myself, because it will only get one big video. So I wrote about this person who I think we all know the same person – someone who is so organized that we don’t forget that it’s amazing that he’s still alive.
And then Annie came in like a whirlwind, and she was such a character in those moments that I was glad there was a firefighter there, because I really thought she was going to burn the place down. She is amazing and made that video funnier than what I had on the page.
There are many other books in the Fletch series. Any chance we’ll see more of Jon as Fletch? Have you thought about where to go next?
If I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do another Fletch movie, I’d be happy to do it again. Of course, it would be nice if we had less time and less money. I would try to make a more ambitious film visually, and build on this. This was our first foray into the genre and it would be great if we could continue.
But it’s a strange time now for movies. This movie gets such a mix, stage and demand and show time. I think nobody really knows what to do with movies now. To be honest, I thought I would go straight to streaming, because it’s kind of a small movie, but now some people can see it in the theater, which is good. But really, I don’t care where you watch it, as long as you watch it. I wish you didn’t see it on your watch, though. That’s where I draw the line. If you have to watch it on your phone or iPad, so be it. While you watch.
Directed by Greg Mottola, Fletch’s confession It is in theaters and available through digital on demand now. It will premiere on October 28 on Showtime.
Source : www.digitaltrends.com