Cue the synthy Harold Faltermeyer score. Everyone's favorite wisecracking, crime-solving investigative journalist is back. And he's just what Dr. Dorian ordered.
Scrubs mastermind Bill Lawrence has been tapped by the Weinstein Company to bring back the '80s Fletch franchise as a potential big-screen starring vehicle for Zach Braff.
The studio announced Wednesday that Lawrence will adapt and direct Fletch Won, a prequel to the 1985 Chevy Chase-fronted hit Fletch.
The new film will be based on Gregory Mcdonald's comedy-mystery novel of the same name, which explores the early days of irreverent fledgling reporter Irwin Fletcher as he attempts to solve his first murder case.
"The coolest thing about the Fletch Won book is that it's an origin story," Lawrence says in a press release. "Like Batman Begins, I think people will enjoy seeing how Irwin Fletcher became Fletch. Not only can I recite the original Fletch movie line for line, I actually read all the Greg Mcdonald books as a kid. Consider me obsessed--I'm going to try as hard as I can not to screw this up."
Mcdonald wrote nine Fletch novels in the '80s, but the movie franchise stalled after just two. The 1989 sequel Fletch Lives, which wasn't based any of Mcdonald's books, bombed at the box office.
Harvey and Bob Weinstein have long sought to revive the series. Back in 1997, when they still ran Miramax, they hired Clerks purveyor Kevin Smith for a Fletch 3 movie starring Chase. After that fizzled, Smith took a crack at Fletch Won, with Jason Lee and then Braff rumored to star. But Smith was dropped from the project after his vision didn't jibe with that of producer David List.
The Weinsteins then turned to Lawrence at the behest of Braff, whose 2004 directorial debut, Garden State, was distributed by Miramax.
The Scrubs creator signed on, and, while a deal is not yet in place for Braff to come aboard, Lawrence says he's lobbying hard.
"Zach is perfect for the role," Lawrence tells the Hollywood Reporter. "I'm going to use all my pull trying to make him do it."
Unlike the earlier movies, which were tailored to Chase's brand of sketch comedy, Lawrence promises to stick more closely to the source material for Fletch Won, which is slated to shoot next April, during the Scrubs hiatus.
Braff is up for an Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his Scrubs work; the sixth season of the NBC hospital comedy is scheduled to kick off next spring. He also has two films due in theaters later this year--Tony Goldwyn's comedy-drama The Last Kiss opposite Rachel Bilson, and the slacker comedy-romance Fast Track, costarring Amanda Peet--and is set to direct and appear in the romance Open Heart, slated for a 2007 opening.