Chevy Chase's classic movie Fletch was the perfect balance between crime and comedy – when the titular reporter is approached by a businessman and asked to murder him so his wife will get the insurance payout, he decides to dig a little deeper into just what's going on. Much hilarity ensues. With new Paramount movie Confess, Fletch, Irwin Fletcher is back – this time played by Mad Men and Baby Driver star Jon Hamm. What made Hamm so keen to take on this iconic role? He has a lifelong connection to the character – which, fittingly for a crime franchise, all began with shoplifting.
Speaking to Empire for our new Review Of The Year issue, Hamm sheepishly admits that, as a 14-year-old, over the course of a 1985 summer in Florissant, Missouri, he collected the entire set of Gregory McDonald’s novels from his local bookstore – and he was not a paying customer. “Look, I couldn’t afford them,” he confesses (how apt). “But I was radically interested in reading them, and the idea of going to a library never occurred, so…”
Those books, and specifically the second in the series, form the basis of Confess, Fletch, director Greg Mottola’s reboot in which Hamm steps into the shoes of the journalist and investigator. They're big shoes to fill, but Hamm wasn't interested in trying to directly replicate the previous screen version. “You look back at the  movie,” Hamm explains, “and it almost feels like a series of character sketches. Chevy has so many great ‘bits’ in it, but they probably weren’t in the script: they were things he pitched or improvised. I didn’t just want to do a Chevy Chase impression – I’ve been doing that with my friends for 30 years. I wanted the opportunity, as an actor and producer, to reboot this franchise for a whole new generation… [and] tell a really good, compelling mystery – which is what the books do.” We must confess, we're pretty excited to see it.
Read Empire's full Confess, Fletch feature – speaking to both Hamm and Mottola about their new adaptation – in the Review Of The Year issue. On sale Thursday 27 October, or pre-order a copy here. Confess, Fletch is in UK cinemas from 18 November.
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