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Jon Hamm And Greg Mottola Reveal What They Wanted To Bring To Their Fletch Reboot Confess, Fletch - Exclusive

Through the years, there have been several attempts to reboot the comedy "Fletch" after the movie and its sequel ("Fletch Lives") became hits, largely due to Chevy Chase's quirky interpretation of the title character. Everyone from "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence to Kevin Smith has been attached to the project, with names like Zach Braff and Jason Sudeikis set to star. Ultimately, though, it's co-writer and director Greg Mottola and star and producer Jon Hamm that have finally brought a "Fletch" reboot to the big screen with "Confess, Fletch."

The question that confronted the pair when they started talking about the project was simple: How do you create a new version of "Fletch"? They found their answer in the "Fletch" novels written by Gregory Mcdonald. After deciding to take their cues from the source material instead of the version of the character made famous by Chevy Chase, they also made the choice to set the action in the present and lean into the complicated whodunit that propels the story. 

The result is a "Fletch" that's witty but tonally very different from the 1980s movies. Mottola and Hamm sat down with Looper to explain what they wanted to bring to the reboot.

Rebooting a beloved character

Mention the character Fletch, and people immediately remember Chevy Chase's performance. That's why Jon Hamm knew his Fletch had to differentiate itself from Chase's. "The last thing I wanted to do was an impression of Chevy or his performance," Hamm shared. "We were very happy as a production team and as an actor and director to very much let Chevy's performance and Chevy's film be what it was."

"We didn't want to make a remake," Hamm continued. "We really wanted it to be its own thing ... I was like, 'Look, that movie's got 35 years of time on it. We have 10 more novels that we can actually look at to adapt. Why don't we reboot the whole thing and start from scratch?' And that's what we did."

Greg Mottola added that he baked in nods to Chase's "Fletch" movies, but he never let that dictate his approach to "Confess, Fletch" — although he included a tribute in the form of Fletch wearing a Lakers hat in the first shot. "It's our way of acknowledging we love the movie, and then also saying, 'Okay, now we're going to do our thing,'" Mottola explained. "There's a lot of DNA of Fletch that's shared between our version and the original version, because the character on the page is so irreverent and also has no problem lying or breaking some small laws or deceiving people to get answers."

Making a modern-day mystery

In fact, Greg Mottola felt that Fletch's ease with rule-breaking made him an especially compelling character for viewers. "There's something really appealing about that," Mottola observed. "We live in a world right now, in particular, where it seems like a lot of bad stuff's happening and nothing's happening to fix it. A guy who says, 'Well, screw it, I'm going to go around the police ... I'm going to get to the bottom of this and make things right,' is a real wish-fulfillment character."

Mottola looked to sources other than the original film for insight into how to emphasize his reboot's central mystery. "I was also thinking about old Hollywood detective movies," Mottola revealed. "[What] a lot of those things have in common is ... making it about the acting and the dialogue, so that's how I approached it. That's similar to comedy, but we didn't want to light it and shoot it quite like an '80s comedy, so we tried to make it feel a little bit more like a detective movie or almost a thriller at times."

As Hamm concluded, "We decided we were going to focus on making a good mystery that's also really funny."

"Confess, Fletch" is available in theaters and on digital.