The Gregory McDonald novel series, first published in 1974 with “Fletch,” offers a humorous take on an LA-based investigative journalist. The first book spawned 11 sequels and served as the basis for a 1985 film that starred Chevy Chase in the lead. Chase would return to the character in 1989 for a sequel, Fletch Lives, not specifically based on any of the books.
For years the second book (which is a prequel to the first), “Fletch Won” has been eyed for a Hollywood adaptation and has, since the mid-2000’s attracted prospective talent that ranged from Bill Lawrence directing with Zach Braff and/or Joshua Jackson amongst those rumored for the lead to a Kevin Smith version that would have potentially starred Jason Lee.
Mandel, a writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “Seinfeld,” has turned in screenplays for theatrical films that include Eurotrip, The Cat in the Hat and the upcoming The Dictator.