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Top 14 actors who could play Fletch in the remake


Can I borrow your towel? This remake just hit a water buffalo...

Fletch - Chevy Chase-style

Yesterday it was announced that the Fletch (1985) remake has a writer attached. David Mandel, who wrote for Saturday Night Live in the early 90's (ah yes, they were some very good years!), for Seinfeld, has been selected as writer for the updated Fletch. Additionally, this film is referred to as a re-imagining rather than a remake, leaving some leeway for a writer to address the character from the source material rather than the original film. Mandel also wrote the films EuroTrip (2004) and Sacha Baron-Cohen's newest The Dictator. (If he wrote "Scotty Doesn't Know", I'm practically sold) In the terms of the Shadowlocked remake potentiality, Fletch is neither foreign nor what most would consider 'important'. It is, however, iconic; and definitely 'so much fun the first time'.

But in order to do the remake properly, or at all, there must be an actor in the lead part. And who could possibly replace Chevy Chase in his pitch-perfect interpretation of Irwin M. Fletcher, erstwhile investigatory journalist and deadpan ladies man?

14. John Krasinski

John Krasinski

The US interpretation of the BBC's The Office got a slow start, especially with fans of the original. But a large part of its success was the character of Jim: John Krasinski won me over with his natural charm and sardonic wit. He's also able to lose himself in an 'everyman' role, a combination that is imperative in an actor who plays Fletch.

13. Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is likeable. And a good actor; although I hope that the rumors of him taking the lead in The Crow aren't based on fact, because I just can't see how he would pull that off. Too good-looking is not something you hear often in Hollywood, but that's the problem with Bradley Cooper in Fletch. Sure he has the persona, the charisma, the charm - but he needs an element of realism about his appearance to pull it off, and I'm not sure if this can be done. However, they did a decent job of making him look pretty run-down in Limitless; and just look at what they did with America Ferrera in Ugly Betty - so who knows, maybe this could work.

12. Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg is brilliant. Sure, it may be mostly fraternity humour, but his SNL digital shorts and 'Lonely Island' music videos have helped widen his appeal somewhat. His natural persona works well when compared alongside that of Fletch's, and he does have a 'Chevy-esque' look about him...or so I think. The problem, however, is that Samberg is still fairly inexperienced, lacking the comic respect - and the obvious experience - of Mr Chase. It's an outsider, but nevertheless a tantalising prospect.

11. Glenn Howerton

Glenn Howerton in 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

Sure, he's pretty much only known as Dennis in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But in that single role, he embodies the essential Irwin M. Fletcher. He's glib, and superficial, and hilariously sleazy. But there's an undertone of authenticity that Glenn Howerton manages to nail. (While nailing everything in sight) Although he's probably the least well-known on the list, Glenn Howerton would make an absolutely incredible Fletch.

10. Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

If I'm being honest, I question myself in this choice; but let's look at the facts. MacFarlane is brimming with an almost child-like level of enthusiasm, and is a phenomenally talented vocal artist. Furthermore, he has proven - through three successful sitcoms and his regular public outings - that he's a funny guy, using any and every part of himself to gain a matter how cheap or small. Then you have that voice; he could lull even the most aggressive of bulls to sleep with that thing. MacFarlane's unique tone is to comedy  what Morgan Freeman's is to narrative...the perfect match. So, when you analyse it, it starts to make sense, doesn't it? Sure, he too is limited in experience, but what he lacks in experience he more than makes up for in natural charisma.

9. Will Arnett

Will Arnett

Will Arnett is best known for his role as Gob on Arrested Development, although he's had wonderful comedic turns as Jack's nemesis on 30 Rock, and the lead role in the underrated (and under-viewed) Running Wilde. While he has yet to find the right starring role on the big screen, he's awesome in every bit part he takes on; from ice-skating sister-lover Stranz in Blades of Glory, to Lou in Semi-Pro, Arnett plays a truly reprehensible person who manages to gain audience support, no matter what (even for lame magician gags!) He's cornered the market on the idiot/jerk who manages to be loveable. Maybe he has too much sleaze. But lots of charm!

8. Joel McHale

Joel McHale

Sleazy charm? Check. Deadpan delivery? Check. Chevy Chase connection? Check. As Chase's costar on Community, or the host of the clip show The Soup, Mc Hale is shameless in what he will do for a laugh. (Check out Joel McHale as Rainbow Brite on The Soup if you don't believe me.) Wait, that clip also proves that he's a master of disguise! Excellent.

7. Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari

Aziz Ansari, stand-up comedian turned comedic actor, is hilarious. His stand-up special, Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening, is definitely worth a viewing, and if you aren't watching Parks and Recreation yet, you should be! His turn as parks deputy Tom Haverford is hysterical. While young for the lead of Fletch, I would love to see what he could do with the role.

6. Ed Helms

Ed Helms

The second of our Hangover-inspired choices, Helms has really come into his own in recent years, proving himself as both a leading actor - in Cedar Rapids - and as part of a further cohort as per The Hangover and The Office US. However, you get the feeling that, with the right direction and project Helms could be so much more. Armed with an instant likeability; a fascinating ability to flip from serious to losing it in an instant, and possessive of an obvious intelligence, Helms certainly offers a number of appealing attributes to the role. But does he have it; that certain, Chevy Chase-like appeal? Hmm...

5. James Franco

James Franco

Sure, after the debacle that was James Franco's turn at hosting the Oscars, we might have gotten a little over-Franco'd. And he is the Oscar-nominated dramatic star of 127 Hours. But he did a great job in the stoner comedy Pineapple Express, it was like killing a unicorn with ... well, a bomb; and he was funny in a completely different way as the uptight Fabious in Your Highness.

4. Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers and Chevy Chase have a lot in common. Chevy Chase was the Nightly News anchor on SNL at the same time as he was the head writer; the dual role that Seth Meyers fills now. In fact, he probably made the list purely because he is the most 'Chevy Chase' of the actors out there today. Seth Meyers hasn't found his stride in feature films yet, but he's talented, and hilarious, and has an everyman quality that should work in the correct role. As a fit for Fletch, Meyers isn't far off the mark!

3. Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds

Anticipation over Reynolds' upcoming take on the Green Lantern (and for comics fans, the upcoming R.I.P.D. and Deadpool) may currently overshadow his comedic beginnings. But Reynolds is funny, deeply funny; as comedy lead actor in Van Wilder, or Just Friends or with funny moments in action or dramatic roles like X-Men Origins: Wolverine or even Smokin' Aces. Plus, if he does something awesome like Fletch, maybe he'll stay away from crappy chick flicks for a while.

2. Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd has deadpan delivery down. But he's also got range - from Brian Fantana in Anchorman to Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night; from a recurring role as Guy Gerricault on the farcical (and largely improvised) Reno 911 to the indie-cred lead of Our Idiot Brother, Paul Rudd steals every scene he's in, comedic or dramatic. However, the transition to Fletch is a great one that would require serious work, even for an actor of Rudd's obvious ability, so it would all depend on how he felt in the role during casting. Either way, Rudd's a fan favourite, so this choice would certainly get the masses talking.

1. Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell

He's the King of comic acting; the jester of modern cinema; the class-clown among the Hollywood elite - whatever you think of Ferrell, you have to admire the man himself. In the last 10 years especially - starting from around the time of Zoolander - Ferrell has become the biggest, most in demand comic actor on the books, firing role after role off as if it were a YouTube project amongst friends; but that is why audiences love him. He's hysterical, hilarious to look at and a master of visual comedy, all attributes that have played a significant part in his success. Of all the choices, I really feel Ferrell would have the Chevy stamp of approval. Their on-screen personae have a number of similarities, and both were - or are - significant figures within their era of comedy.

You could say that Ferrell is a little too over-used - and, despite being a fan, I couldn't disagree - but he's a loveable rogue with a genuine love of comedy...isn't that Chase all over?

See also:

10 things that Ghostbusters 3 would need to get right

10 memorable comedy movie scenes

Top 50 movies of the 1980s

4 ways Steve Carell’s time on The Office could have ended

Top 7 Hollywood excuses for the next remake

Ten Actors and Actresses Who Deserve Better Roles

What Has Happened To The Spoof?

Lists at Shadowlocked


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#1 Some good choices Caleb Leland 2011-05-26 01:33
Personally, I haven't been too psyched about a new Fletch film since the producers nixed the Kevin Smith/Jason Lee film that could have been awesome. But I wouldn't mind seeing Ryan Reynolds take a crack at the role. Dude is just funny.
#2 RE: Top 14 actors who could play Fletch in the remake Fletch Fan 2011-05-30 13:47
Joel McHale should be #1. He has the perfect attitude for Fletch, and I hope that he decides to take the role. I'm also excited that they are starting again with Fletch. The G.M. book Fletch is awesome. It may not have all of the same lines that Chevy Chase made famous and the ending is a little crazy, but all of the G.M. books deserve to be told.
#3 RE: Top 14 actors who could play Fletch in the remake Patrick 2011-06-23 02:35
What about Vince Vaughn? No actor today does a better job of delivering those classic Fletch one liners that Chevy Chase did so well.
#4 RE: Top 14 actors who could play Fletch in the remake Nicole Ugrin 2011-06-23 16:22
You're absolutely right, and I can't believe I didn't think of him. Vince Vaughn has the deadpan delivery down - and he's got that weird, manic energy (like he displayed in Clay Pigeons?) that would probably play really well with a Fletch storyline.

Good call, Patrick!!

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