Anyone remember Chevy Chase’s “Fletch”? Because there’s a new iteration of the story in theaters right now, and Jon Hamm and company spent a lot of their own money to get it there.
Director Greg Mottola (“Superbad”) told Uproxx this week that while Miramax was willing to finance “Confess, Fletch,” it could only spend enough money to fund 27 days of shooting. Mottola and Hamm, who thought the movie needed more time, decided to break open their piggy banks.
“Basically, what we did is Jon gave back 60 percent of his salary to the budget,” Mottola said. “I gave back some of my salary, not as much as Jon because he’s richer than me and I’ve got three kids. And we bought three more days of shooting. We got it up to 30 days in Boston and one day in Rome.”
And that’s how “Confess, Fletch” went into production, filming in 2021 with a budget of $20 million. Hamm, fresh off the success of “Top Gun: Maverick,” plays the title character, smartass investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher.
This time around, Fletch becomes a murder suspect while trying to find a missing art collection.
But folks might not have noticed that the movie is already in theaters, as there has been little marketing support for its Sept. 16 release on big screens and video-on-demand. The Los Angeles Times’ review is out now, and the movie will stream on Showtime starting Oct. 28.
Mottola said he considered trying to get Chase — star of the original “Fletch” movie in 1985 and its sequel, “Fletch Lives,” in 1989 — into the picture in some way, to pay homage to the two original “Fletch” movies, then decided against it after talking with Hamm.
“There wasn’t a great role for him,” the director said. “We didn’t want him to just walk through the movie and distract everyone. If I wanted him to be in it, I wanted to give him something really good to do.”
Plus, Mottola said, he’s “personally a little tired of movies that rely too heavily on nostalgia.”