Superbad director Greg Mottola shared the cover page to his upcoming Fletch revival starring Jon Hamm in the title role. The movie, now officially called Confess, Fletch, will begin filming in less than a month. And that title actually says quite a bit about what the movie might be about. Up to this point, rumors that the movie would see reporter Irwin M. Fletcher as a suspect in a murder had led fans and reporters to assume that Confess, Fletch -- the second book in the franchise. The first book, titled simply Fletch, was loosely adapted into a hugely successful 1985 comedy starring Chevy Chase.
And that idea -- "loosely adapted" -- is key to one of the big takeaways from the decision to call the movie Confess, Fletch. Between that title and earlier reports that the movie will be a little more of a film noir-style story, it seems likely that the movie will be closer in tone to Gregory McDonald's long-running mystery series. Fletch had the same basic plot as the book on which it was based, but with a number of serious changes and omissions.
Depending on how closely the book is adapted, it could mean quite a bit more. At the end of Fletch, the intrepid reporter at the center of the story walked away with a huge amount of money and free tickets out of the country. When Confess, Fletch begins, he's no longer a reporter, but a wealthy art collector visiting the country from Italy. It's hardly as relatable as a Lakers jersey-wearing slacker on an undercover beach story.
In either case, it seems likely that Confess, Fletch will be a fair sight more true an adaptation than the second film, Fletch Lives, which was a wholly original story with no ties to any one specific book from McDonald's series. Since the original two films were made, there have been numerous attempts to relaunch the franchise as a film or TV project, usually centering on the prequel story Fletch Won. This is the first time in years that anyone decided to go past the timeframe of the original story.
The police officer who investigates Fletch in the story, Francis Xavier Flynn, was a fan-favorite character who managed to score a trio of his own books -- Flynn, The Buck Passes Flynn, and Flynn's World. Like an Irish Columbo, Flynn is an eccentric and talkative inspector for the Boston PD. That suggests that the studio might be interested in spinning off Flynn -- a notion that will likely be confirmed or not when and if the character of Flynn is cast.