A couple of comic casting bits to close out the night:
- Jason Sudeikis is in talks to take over where Chevy Chase left off in Fletch Won, the long-gestating reboot of the Fletch series. Naturally, Warner Bros. sees this as the first of a potential comedy franchise about the investigative reporter.
- Ed Helms is attached to star in Epic Fail, a comedy about a “highly unorthodox special forces team.” Helms developed the original idea with Nicky Weinstock for Lionsgate.
More on both projects after the jump.
Earlier today I was lucky enough to be able to visit the set of one of my favorite shows on any channel: NBC’s Community. I got to visit the set in anticipation of the season two DVD, which hits stores September 6th, and season three, which premieres on Thursday September 22nd at 8/7c. While I’ll have a lot of video interviews with the entire cast very soon, I spoke with Chevy Chase about the upcoming Vacation reboot and a new Fletch movie and wanted to bring you what he said as soon as possible.
A reboot of the Vacation franchise is currently in development at Warner Bros., and when I spoke with producer David Dobkin last month, he said that the new film would tell son Rusty’s story and have him encountering the same hijinks that his father did. Dobkin played coy about Chase making an appearance in the film, but Chase’s answer today about a Vacation reboot came as a bit of a shock. He said he’s written a different script for a new Vacation film with co-star Beverly D’Angelo. He said:
“I’ve written an idea that would be basically like a “Swiss Family Griswold.” There’s a cruise, there’s a fire on the ship, we think the whole ship’s on fire and we jump—it’s just a little fire—and we end up on an island where we meet Randy somewhere who’s been left there from an old Survivor series.”
Hit the jump for more.
Warner Bros. has hired screenwriter David Mandel to write the reboot of Fletch. As we reported back in February, Warner Bros. picked up the rights to Gregory Mcdonald’s mystery novels for what they’re calling not a remake but a “re-imagining”, which is studio-speak for remake. However, since two of the Fletch novels were previously adapted (1985′s Fletch and 1989′s Fletch Lives, both starring Chevy Chase as the eponymous reporter), I’ll call it a reboot. But whatever you want to call it, Warner Bros. says that this new version “will be a smart action comedy that plays out on a bigger canvas than the previous movies.”
Per THR, “The 11 mystery books, the first of which was published in 1974, center on a reporter named I.M. Fletcher who juggles writing exposes while avoiding headaches caused by his two ex-wives.” Since I’ve never read any of the Fletch novels, I don’t know if Mandel’s the right guy for the job, but his credits include Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sacha Baron Cohen’s upcoming comedy The Dictator, and the underrated EuroTrip (that’s right: I’ll go to bat for EuroTrip), so I think Warners at least has a talented writer on board. The project is a high-priority for the studio and they’re looking at it as a vehicle for an A-list comedy star. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the first novel.
Fletch is a property that Hollywood has been trying to bring back to the screen for years. Gregory McDonald wrote the first of eleven mystery novels in 1974. Chevy Chase played the newspaper reporter in 1985′s Fletch (a movie that’s adored but not universally) and the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives. There were talks of another sequel in the 1990s, but nothing ever came of it. By the turn of the century, Kevin Smith was attached to adapt the prequel novel Fletch Won and threw out Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, and Adam Sandler as possible stars — before he dropped out. Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence signed on to write and direct Fletch Won for Zach Braff before he was replaced by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) in 2007. And here we are, wherever this is.
I suppose Harvey Weinstein’s rights ownership (first via Miramax, then The Weinsten Company) have lapsed in that time, because Warner Bros. has picked up the movie rights for McDonald’s books. Hit the jump for more on the studio’s approach to adapting the property.
Why is Chevy Chase popular again? He was the Big Bad on the most recent season of “Chuck”, he’s co-starring in the upcoming comedy series “Community”, and now The Hollywood Reporting says he’s joined John Cusack, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson for “Hot Tub Time Machine”. I really don’t understand it. He’s not any funnier than he used to be so the only conclusion I can draw is that he’s learned humility and stopped being such a giant douchebag.
Chase’s douchiness was legend. Here’s one of my favorite parts of “Live From New York” where they’re talking about him being a complete ass-hole to everyone when he came on to host the show in 1985.
Terry Sweeney: “I mean, he insulted everybody. He said to Robert Downey Jr., ‘Didn’t your father used to be a successful director? Whatever happened to him? Boy, he sure died, you know, he sure went to hell.’ Downey turned ashen. And then Chevy turned to me and he said, ‘Oh, you’re the gay guy, right?’ And he goes, ‘I’ve got an idea for a sketch for you. How about we say you have AIDS and we weigh you every week?’”
Read about how he wants a new “Fletch” movie after the jump.
I feel about the same about Fletch as I do Stripes. Which is funny, cause I know a lot of people love Fletch a lot more than Stripes, but it is of that time period. And if you are a fan of that era of comedy, when was the last time you sat down to watch something like Beverly Hills Cop? Cause that shit hasn’t aged well at all. Most of the great comedies of the 80′s revolve around an SNL vet trying their best to make less-than material work, to sometimes staggering results. Unless there’s an actual director, like John Landis, who can craft the jokes. I think Stripes works best of all these three mentioned movies, because Ivan Reitman, for better or worse, is an actually comedy director, and so he knows his punchlines. That’s not to denigrate from Micahel Richie, who directed the wonderful Smile, and The Candidate. But it’s a different thing.
Actually, it works to the film’s benefit because Fletch is really a mystery with a comic lead, much like the Thin Man films of yore. The story is that reporter Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher (Chevy Chase, in one of his last good roles) is hired by rich man Alan Stanwyck (Tim Matheson) to murder him. Fletch can see there’s something fishy going on, but his paper wants him to continue investigating the drugs on the beach story he’s got going. But the one story leads him to the other. Fletch benefits most from getting close to Stanwyck’s wife Gail (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson).