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Confess, Fletch (2022, D: Mottola) S: Jon Hamm

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Confess, Fletch (2022, D: Mottola) S: Jon Hamm

Old 08-13-03, 10:22 AM
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Confess, Fletch (2022, D: Mottola) S: Jon Hamm

from Variety
Miramax still enjoys the View
Smith will helm 'Fletch,' 'Ranger' for Dimension

Miramax Films has decided to renew with View Askew, extending the studio's first-look alliance with writer-director Kevin Smith and his producing partner, Scott Mosier.

Smith, a cornerstone director for both Miramax chief Harvey Weinstein and Dimension topper Bob Weinstein, has committed to direct "Fletch One" for Miramax, followed by the sci-fi adventure "Ranger Danger and the Danger Rangers" for Dimension.

"It seemed a good idea to treat the brothers fairly," said Smith, whose next Miramax pic, "Jersey Girl," has been reslotted from a Nov. 7 release to March 19. Originally the intent was to steer clear of "The Matrix Revolutions," but Smith now is glad to be clear of "Gigli," since his film stars Ben Affleck and includes a romance with Jennifer Lopez.

Smith has completed the first draft of "Fletch One." The pic will continue the exploits of the journalist-mystery solving character played in two films by Chevy Chase. But in much the same way that early Elmore Leonard adaptations barely resembled the author's prose until Scott Frank adapted "Get Shorty" and "Out of Sight," Smith promised a close adherence to the distinctive dialogue and plotting that McDonald put into his novel series.

Chevy detour

"The other 'Fletch' films were Chevy vehicles with a Lakers fetish," said Smith. "We've taken an early novel where the author told the origin of how Fletch got his job on a newspaper. It will stick much closer to McDonald's brilliant dialogue and great characters, and the model for this film is 'Out of Sight.' Though these actors know nothing about this, I've worked down to a short list of Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon and Adam Sandler for the role of Fletch."

Shooting will begin in January.

After that it's "Ranger Danger" for Dimension, which Smith describes as "my stab at a comicbook/sci-fi movie. It's in the vein of 'Flash Gordon,' something I've noodled with a couple of years. Now I feel we are mature enough filmmakers to tackle it." Smith hopes to shoot that pic while "Fletch One" is in post-production. Shooting will begin in fall 2004.

Smith's longtime partner Mosier will sit out the "Fletch" film but rejoin on "Ranger Danger."

'Paradise' found

The duo also is exec producing "Reel Paradise," a docu to be released by Miramax about indie distribution vet John Pierson and the year he spent owning and operating the world's most remote movie theater, in the Fiji bush.

The Weinsteins said they were glad to keep Smith and Mosier in the fold.

"Kevin is one of the great young directors who has been an integral part of Miramax's growth, and Scott is a great producer," said Harvey Weinstein. "As a team, they are brilliant."

Noting the Weinsteins have embraced each of his film ideas from "Clerks" to "Dogma," Smith said he and Mozier were relieved to keep working for them.

"Once again, Miramax is the only studio in town dumb enough to fund our ********," he said. "2004 marks View Askew's 10th year with them, so if you're looking to blame anyone for why we're still allowed to make movies, blame the two men I've come to love like they're my adoptive, same-sex-couple parents, Harvey and Bob Weinstein."
Old 08-13-03, 10:38 AM
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Yay and stuff!
Old 08-13-03, 11:19 AM
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Right on man
I finally just finished An Evening with Kevin Smith the other night and could not stop laughing. That giant spider story is freakin awesome.
Old 08-13-03, 11:24 AM
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I would have thought Jason Lee would have been the best choice for Fletch. Pitt? Sandler?
Old 08-13-03, 11:28 AM
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I'm shocked Jason Lee isn't even on the list. My interest in this project has dropped considerably.

Also, the book was called "Fletch Won." I'm not sure if that's a typo on Variety's part or a deliberate change.
Old 08-13-03, 11:29 AM
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That's a real shame, Lee carried Mallrats, he should be given his chance!
Old 08-13-03, 11:37 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised to see Lee get the role of Fletch, I think he might have been a little sarcastic w/ some of the actors that he named. It's cool to see that he is finally committed to make a Fletch movie, I think he has been talking about it for years.
Old 08-13-03, 12:05 PM
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He can't complain about Chase's delivery and be considering Will Smith or Jimmy Fallon. Hopefully that passes for "Smithtire" and Jason Lee will be there or the Nature Boy won't be.
Old 08-13-03, 12:39 PM
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i thought he was originally going to do "Fletch Too" ? At any rate, both this and the "Fletch Won" books were great. Looking forward to it.
Old 08-13-03, 12:58 PM
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I was at Smith's panel in Chicago over the weekend. He said that he's been trying for three years to sell Harvey Weinstein on the idea of Jason Lee as Fletch. Apparently Smith even had Weinstein over a barrel (no elaboration) this summer and tried again to get approval for Lee as Fletch, but Weinstein would still not budge. Weinstein's argument is that Jason Lee cannot open a film. Looking at Lee's recent starrers (Stealing Harvard, A Guy Thing), I can't fault his logic.
Old 08-13-03, 01:03 PM
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I'm loathe to suggest this, but perhaps an online petition is in order.
Old 08-13-03, 02:05 PM
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Jason Lee is the only Fletch.

His openings suck because his movies do. I mean, did anyone see the trailers for Harvard Man and A Guy Thing and say "Gee, that looks swell." No.

They said, "Gawd that's awful... what a waste. I wish Jason Lee would actually get in on a good project."

Are you listening Harvey?
Old 08-13-03, 03:00 PM
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Will Smith!?

It's a shame Lee won't be in on it. That would've been sweet. I'm sure whatever happens Kevin will do a good job.
Old 08-13-03, 03:38 PM
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No Jason Lee, no sale to me.
Old 08-13-03, 03:40 PM
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Awesome - that should be interesting.
Old 08-13-03, 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Tom Campbell
I was at Smith's panel in Chicago over the weekend. He said that he's been trying for three years to sell Harvey Weinstein on the idea of Jason Lee as Fletch. Apparently Smith even had Weinstein over a barrel (no elaboration) this summer and tried again to get approval for Lee as Fletch, but Weinstein would still not budge. Weinstein's argument is that Jason Lee cannot open a film. Looking at Lee's recent starrers (Stealing Harvard, A Guy Thing), I can't fault his logic.
That's a bummer, because I feel Stealing Harvard failed to do big business because it wasn't funny, it had Tom Green fresh from his disaster movie Freddy Got Fingered, and I think comedies of that type were getting tired around that point. And a Guy Thing? Who cared about that movie at all?

Jason Lee, to me, is a lot like Ben Affleck: His best work is with Kevin Smith. There are some actors who work better with certain directors, and Kevin Smith has his roster of actors who do their best work with him, and I feel Jason Lee would shine in the role of Fletch.
Old 08-13-03, 03:51 PM
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I think with the Fletch brand name and Smith as director, the film would do fine with an unknown, let alone Jason Lee. It's like saying that Episode 2 would bomb because nobody knows who Hayden Christensen is. Get Chase to narrate and your chances of finding audience are even better.
Old 08-13-03, 08:18 PM
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"Jason Lee is the perfect man to play Fletch"

"What, you won't let me...screw him then, I'll get Ben, he'll open a movie huge, just look at Gigli!"

No Lee, no interest.
Old 08-13-03, 08:27 PM
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Originally posted by calhoun07
That's a bummer, because I feel Stealing Harvard failed to do big business because it wasn't funny, it had Tom Green fresh from his disaster movie Freddy Got Fingered, and I think comedies of that type were getting tired around that point. And a Guy Thing? Who cared about that movie at all?

Jason Lee, to me, is a lot like Ben Affleck: His best work is with Kevin Smith. There are some actors who work better with certain directors, and Kevin Smith has his roster of actors who do their best work with him, and I feel Jason Lee would shine in the role of Fletch.
I liked "A Guy Thing." Could I be the only one? I thought it was funny. Not like the "Lee Funny" your used to seeing in Smith's movies, but still funny. And don't forget he's done great work with Cameron Crowe. Who could forget Almost Famous, and his small but memorable role in Vanilla Sky.
Old 08-13-03, 09:24 PM
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The duo also is exec producing "Reel Paradise," a docu to be released by Miramax about indie distribution vet John Pierson and the year he spent owning and operating the world's most remote movie theater, in the Fiji bush
I have no real opinion either way about the other films mentioned, but this documentary sounds interesting to me. I'm going to keep an eye out for it.
Old 08-13-03, 10:12 PM
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Oh, jason lee isn't playing fletch. Ok, I have one less movie to see.

Ben affleck? Jimmy fallon? Brad Pitt?! Adam Sandler?
Do only huge stars apply anymore for movie roles?

What a waste.
Old 08-14-03, 12:16 AM
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someone email this to harvey and tell him NO JASON LEE = NO SALE
Old 08-14-03, 12:27 AM
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Jason Lee was one of the few bright spots in Dreamcatcher. Give him a good script and he should be fine. I say he goes up and stink palms Harv.
Old 08-14-03, 08:53 AM
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I'm not surprised Jason's missing from that list.

Then again, SMith jokes a lot about so-called "official" statements (remember the Planet Of The Apes argument?), so I'm taking that list with a grain of salt.
Old 08-18-03, 10:11 AM
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...Chevy is not the mark from which we must start. Go read the books: Fletch is not Chevy Chase.
Go read the books: there IS no slap stick.

See, the thing is, thanks to "SNL", [Jimmy] Fallon's got a rabid fan-following. His college gigs are big draws just like [Adam] Sandler's were, prior to his breaking out in movies.

In Harvey's perspective, Lee has been the star of movies that didn't open, nor go on to earn very much. So, actually, to Harvey, the unproven Jimmy Fallon is potentially worth taking a risk on, as he hasn't struck out yet.

If you read the book, Ben [Affleck]'s actually the closest to the character. Lee's definitely closer if you were doing the Chevy version of Fletch, but Ben - the REAL Ben, not a Ben you've seen onscreen or on talk shows before - is closest to the book version of Fletch. And the book version is the Fletch we're making.

I love Lee. I can't imagine anyone would doubt that, even now. I fought for Lee, for almost three years now (Harvey bough the Fletch library for us the night of the first "Bounce" test screening, which was long before I even had a first draft of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"). And recently, I had Harvey in the best bargaining position of my entire nearly-ten year career, at which time, I forced the Lee-as-Fletch issue once again. And even then, he was still resolute.

And I'd said before "If it's not Lee, I'm not doing it." Said that for at least a year, hoping to send Miramax a clear message. They got the message, alright - but rather than relenting and giving Lee the greenlight, they were just going to let the option on the books lapse. And I'm sorry - I don't want to see someone else making a Fletch flick that yet again doesn't resemble the character in the books that have been so influential on my writing. So I opted to stay with the flick, minus Lee.

What can I say? I took a swing. ****, I took a lot of swings. Had Miramax agreed to Lee, this flick would've been made BEFORE "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." But it just wasn't to be.

So you've got two choices: either grumble about the Lee-less Fletch movie we're going to make from now until the end of time, or open yourself up to the idea that maybe - just maybe - our Fletch flick is gonna be good, regardless of who gets cast.
--Kevin Smith

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