Jason Sudeikis is taking over the sought-after role of journalist Irwin M. “Fletch” Fletcher in the long-gestating reboot of the Fletch franchise. THR reports that the Saturday Night Live alum is in talks to star in Fletch Won, a Fletch origin story that’s described as “a gritty action comedy with heart” and is said to be closer to author Gregory McDonald’s series of comedic mystery novels than to the 1980s disguise-filled big-screen Fletch outings that starred Chevy Chase.
The studio is hoping that this incarnation of Fletch Won, based on the 1985 McDonald novel of the same name, will have the feel of Beverly Hills Cop or Midnight Run. David List, who represented McDonald’s estate, wrote the current draft of the screenplay to the reboot. It’s his first screenplay. A director has not yet been attached to the film.
A Fletch reboot has been in the works on-again off-again since 1997, with director Kevin Smith shepherding Fletch Won to star Jason Lee, and after the studio didn’t want Jason Lee, casting Ben Affleck, but Smith and Affleck both left the project in 2003. After that, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence took over as writer/director in 2005 with Zach Braff starring. That didn’t work out either, and the next iteration was to come from Hot Tub Time Machine director Steve Pink and star Dawson’s Creek’s Joshua Jackson before the whole project fell apart in 2009. The Fletch franchise laid dormant for two years until Warner Brothers bought the rights in 2011, and Sudeikis is the first (and potentially final) actor they’ve cast in the role. For a more detailed history of failed Fletch reboots, check out this piece I wrote a couple years ago.
Jason Sudeikis’s stock as a movie star has risen considerably the last few years. He first starred in 2011’s Hall Pass, which bombed, but subsequent leading roles in Horrible Bosses and surprise hit We’re the Millers proved very successful. Both movies broke the $100 million mark domestically, and they were the third and second-highest grossing live-action comedies of 2011 and 2013, respectively. He’ll next be seen in Horrible Bosses 2, which comes out later this year, and he’s shooting the indie rom com Tumbledown, opposite Rebeccea Halll, and the Will Ferrell-produced Sleeping with Other People, opposite Alison Brie, later this year. He’s also expected to star in a sequel to We’re the Millers that’s in the works.