Relativity and Boies/Schiller Film Group have closed a deal for movie rights to “Fletch,” based on the Gregory Mcdonald novels. The books center on newspaper reporter Irwin Maurice Fletcher, who prefers the nickname “Fletch” and has to deal with drama surrounding his two ex-wives.
Producers are Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, Boies/Schiller president Zach Schiller, David List on behalf of the Mcdonald estate and John Rickard.
Relativity and Boies/Schiller are currently meeting with writers for the project, expected to return to the beginning of the Fletch stories, as McDonald did in his prequel “Fletch Won.”
A “Fletch” reboot has been in the works at several other studios. Warner Bros. began developing a “Fletch” movie in 2011 and and set up the project with Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Michael Sugar.
Mcdonald first optioned the “Fletch” books in 1970s but retained the right of approving the actor cast to play Fletch. He rejected Burt Reynolds and Mick Jagger but agreed to Chevy Chase — leading to Universal producing the original caper comedy in 1985 followed by “Fletch Lives” four years later. The two films earned a combined $85 million at the U.S. box office.
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Miramax tried repeatedly to develop the character in the early 2000s when the rights reverted. Kevin Smith also attempted to start a “Fletch” franchise under his Miramax-based production shingle, View Askew, but the project never came to fruition.
The news about Sudeikis was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.