“The whole point of rebooting a film is to make it different.”
Ahead of the Confess, Fletch release, ComingSoon spoke with director Greg Mottola and leading actor Jon Hamm about their work on the movie. Hamm talked about the differences between his take and Chevy Chase’s one on the character, while Mottola revealed how they paid homage to the first Fletch movies, and more. Confess, Fletch will debut in theatres, on digital and on-demand starting September 16.
“In this delightful comedy romp, Jon Hamm stars as the roguishly charming and endlessly troublesome Fletch, who becomes the prime suspect in a murder case while searching for a stolen art collection,” reads the synopsis. “The only way to prove his innocence? Find out which of the long list of suspects is the culprit — from the eccentric art dealer and a missing playboy to a crazy neighbor and Fletch’s Italian girlfriend. Crime, in fact, has never been this disorganized.”
Tudor Leonte: Jon, is there any pressure stepping into a role that was played by a comedy legend in Chevy Chase?
Jon Hamm: Whatever pressure there is mostly external. I certainly didn’t feel any. I am very confident in what I was able to do, especially working with my good friend Greg here, knowing that we were going to make something very different. The last thing I really wanted to do was do a Chevy Chase impression, honestly. I’m very happy that the first movie exists. I’m a big fan of it as I am a big fan of Chevy’s work throughout the seventies and eighties. I think he’s an incredibly gifted comic performer, but I didn’t want to do an impression of him. I don’t think anybody would wanna watch that. I think the whole point of rebooting a film is to make it different. Otherwise, you can just go watch the first one. [Laughs]. The good news was we had 10 books that we had the rights to, and we could pick any one of these stories that Gregory Mcdonald so lovingly crafted in the seventies and eighties and go from there. That was the exciting part. It was a blank canvas. We really knew that by not being beholden to having to do what Chevy did in the first movie, we could really do whatever we wanted and we were able to take that and run with it.
Greg, you basically updated the popular eighties comedy to the 2000s, but what did you keep from the original movies?
Greg Mottola: Well, we certainly pay homage to it. There’s a certain basketball team referenced on a hat that Jon wears for a lot of the film, and there’s a couple of Easter eggs in there. I mean the DNA of the character from the book is certainly baked into both versions of Fletch. He’s irreverent, he does not respect authority, he goes his own way and he does it with a certain amount of ease. There are differences in the book of who Fletch is and how he goes about doing these things. We looked at that. For instance, in the book Confess, Fletch, he gets a few big things quite wrong. I thought, ‘Well, that’s an interesting thing to lean into, that this guy isn’t always right, even though he seems to be the smartest person in the room. He’s sometimes wrong, but that doesn’t stop him. He just he’s undaunted, he keeps going, he just pushes right through.’ I thought that was something that I really wanted to see Jon play. As I’ve said before, who wants to see Jon be right a hundred percent of the time, it would just be annoying. He really makes a lot of that very funny and fun to watch. I love detective movies, it’s like one of my favorite genres.
Jon, you obviously have a very different type of humor from Chevy Chase and it works great. I was wondering whether you related anything to him and what is it that, according to you, works better in this movie.
Hamm: Well, I think that there’s a confidence that Fletch has that I think I possess. I think part of that is being a relatively well-educated, connected, privileged person in the world. We reference it in the film, you’re able to go places that some people aren’t able to go without being noticed. I think I have that. I think Chevy certainly has that, and I think Fletch has that. I think that if there’s anything that we both have in common, it’s that, and I think that can be used for good and I think it can be used for evil sometimes. I think Fletch is always on the right side. He’s always on the side of good. He may not be right all of the time, but he’s on the side of right. I think the funny parts are when he’s utterly confident and totally wrong. I think those two things to play are very fun and funny and satisfying to an audience because usually the audience can see like, ‘Nope, he’s not right, but he’s really gonna commit to this, and yep.’ It’s not gonna work out.
Greg, there are still many stories featuring Fletch that might be told. Is there any hope for a sequel?
Mottola: Absolutely, I’ve already picked out a book I’d love to adapt next. If enough people like this, I would be so thrilled to do it.
Hamm: We’ll crowdsource it.