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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Is Jon Hamm’s ‘Confess, Fletch’ a Sequel?

It’s been 33 years since the last Fletch movie, and now the classic detective series is back in theaters with Confess, Fletch. With a new star, a new team, and three plus decades between the last movie and this one, though, you might be wondering: is Jon Hamm’s Confess, Fletch a sequel?

Based on George Mcdonald’s popular novel series, Fletch was adapted into a 1985 comedy-thriller by Michael Ritchie, starring Chevy Chase as undercover reporter Irwin M. “Fletch” Fletcher. The first film follows Fletch as he is hired to kill millionaire Alan Stanwyk, who is said to be dying of cancer. The ’80s classic received positive reception, sitting at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes. Ritchie and Chase followed Fletch with a less enjoyed sequel, Fletch Lives.

The beloved character lives on through Confess, Fletch, which is directed by Greg Mottola and stars Jon Hamm as the title character. The film was released September 16 for a limited theatrical run, as well as on demand, and will premiere October 28 on Showtime. But where does it live in the Fletch Universe? Is it a sequel? Read on to find out.

Is Confess, Fletch a Remake?

It’s safe to say that Confess, Fletch is not a remake of Fletch. The film tackles a different storyline than its predecessors – drawing inspiration from Mcdonald’s second novel in the series. This crime-comedy follows Fletch as he gets wrapped up in a murder case while searching for a stolen art collection.

Is Confess, Fletch a Sequel?

Here’s where it gets a bit tricky: outlets have been tossing around the words reboot, remake, and sequel interchangeably since news of Confess, Fletch dropped. Trends show that “reboot” was most common during the pre-production and production stages, while “sequel” grew in popularity closer to its release.

While Confess, Fletch follows the same pattern as previous Fletch films, it doesn’t welcome the return of previous characters, besides the famed detective. Any similarities or allusions can be credited to Mottola and Hamm’s familiarity with their source material.

What Does the Director Have to Say?

Mottola hasn’t explicitly stated where Confess, Fletch exists within the Fletch franchise. However in the Golden Age of Reboots, it’s fair to say that Confess, Fletch is a reboot, especially given the recasting of the lead and the lack of references to the previous films.

Mottola told Uproxx that the initial script for Confess, Fletch – by writer Zev Borow – was comparable to “fan fiction.” The director said, “Even before Jon [Hamm] had approached me, a writer, Zev Borow, had been hired to adapt Confess, Fletch, which Jon thought was the most interesting one to try and crack.”

He continued, “Zev loves the original Fletch and he really just, I think, wrote his fan fiction of the Fletch script. And while it had a lot of really good stuff in it, it didn’t really have the tone that Jon and I had been talking about.”

Mottola added that when he “took over” the script, he made it more faithful to the books by bringing in “characters and elements” and shifting their approach to comedy.

There you have it: While the 1985 comedy remains timeless, Confess, Fletch drew inspiration from McDonald’s book series, rather than the previous two films; making it more of a reboot, than a remake or sequel.

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