13 Trivia Tidbits About Fletch

We promise to go a whole article without saying anything bad about Chevy Chase — maybe
13 Trivia Tidbits About Fletch

Normally, when a big movie has a big anniversary, we mark the occasion with a nice, big trivia-stuffed commemoration. Like, when Coming to America turned 35, we did “35 Trivia Tidbits About Coming to America,” and when Beetlejuice turned 35, we did the same thing. On March 17, 2024, Fletch Lives turned 35, but we thought that 35 trivia tidbits seemed a bit much — an unlucky 13 is better. Especially when the 13 trivia tidbits below are so good. 

They’re so good, in fact, it’s like having 35 trivia tidbits — just in 13 entries.

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Fletch Had Literary Origins

The character of Irwin Maurice Fletcher was created by author Gregory Mcdonald. The first book, Fletch, was released in 1974. There are 11 Fletch novels in all.

The Books Are Highly Decorated

In 1975, the Mystery Writers of America named Fletch as its “Best First Novel.” Two years later, they named the first sequel, Confess, Fletch as its “Best Paperback Original.”

There Are Spin-Off Books, Too

The Fletch novels were so popular they spawned a spin-off series starring Inspector Francis Xavier Flynn. There are four novels starring Flynn.

Fletch Goes Hollywood

The first Fletch film began with producer Peter Douglas, who acquired the rights to adapt the novels. He then partnered with producer Alan Greisman, who knew Chevy Chase from working on the 1981 film Modern Problems together. From there, the trio developed Fletch as a starring vehicle for Chase.

Fletch Was Chase’s Favorite Role

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2004, Chase explained, “If anything represented my comic ability and was closest to what I’m really like, that movie is it. I was able to make up anything — ‘Dr. Jellyfinger.’ ‘I’ll have a steak sandwich and… a steak sandwich.’ ‘John! John Cocktoaste…’ I did most of it on the fly.”

The Water Buffalo

 Chase’s line, “Can I borrow your towel for a sec? My car just hit a water buffalo,” to the towel-wearing Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, was also something Chase improvised. 

Free-Wheeling Fletch

Much of the filming was spontaneous, and things would change during shooting. Screenwriter Andrew Bergman said writing the movie was “wiz-bangy and on-the-fly, and it really served the movie well. There’s a really loosey-goosey thing about that movie.”

Fletch’s Second Film

Despite there being 10 other Fletch books that could have been adapted, the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives — which was originally titled Fletch Saved — was an original story by screenwriter Leon Capetanos.

Chase’s Favorite Disguise

Of all of the disguises Fletch wears in Fletch LivesChase cited the faith healer as his favorite.

The Curse of Fletch

From the 1990s until 2022, a third Fletch film was trapped in development hell. For nearly a decade, Kevin Smith was at the helm. At first, he tried making a sequel with Chase, but after a disagreement with him, Smith attempted to develop a prequel with Jason Lee instead. It, however, never went anywhere. Brad Pitt, Jimmy Fallon, Ben Affleck, Zach Braff and Jason Sudeikis were all also rumored to play Fletch at one time or another.

Jon Hamm’s Fletch Saga

Hamm has been a fan of the Fletch films and books since he was 13. He wanted to read the books so badly that he shoplifted to get them. Three decades later, Hamm led the way in getting the 2022 film Confess, Fletch made with himself in the starring role and Superbad director Greg Mottola behind the camera.

Chase v Hamm

For Confess, Fletch, Hamm said he made it a point not to do what Chase had done with the character. “Had there been any attempt to do a Chevy Chase imitation or impression or anything like that, it would have almost felt like stealing,” Hamm explained.

Hamm and Mottola Helped Pay for ‘Confess, Fletch’

While Miramax financed Confess, Fletch, they only paid for 27 days of shooting. Feeling the movie needed more, Hamm and Mottola chipped in to underwrite the rest. “Basically, what we did is, Jon gave back 60 percent of his salary to the budget,” said Mottola. “I gave back some of my salary, not as much as Jon because he’s richer than me and I’ve got three kids. And we bought three more days of shooting.” 

Both love the character so much that they’re also hoping to deliver a sequel.

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