15 Fletch Facts for Its 30th Anniversary
A few facts about the 1985 comedy starring Chevy Chase as investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher.
1. The film is based on a series of novels.
Since 1974, mystery writer Gregory Mcdonald has written 11 novels featuring the character Irwin Maurice Fletcher. The most recent Fletch novel was written in 1994 (Mcdonald died in 2008).
2. Mcdonald himself retained the right to approve which actor would be cast as Fletch in the 1985 film adaptation.
Mcdonald rejected both Burt Reynolds and Mick Jagger before agreeing on Chevy Chase to play the title role.
3. Chase has said Fletch is his all-time personal favorite role.
4. Many of Fletch’s classic lines were ad-libbed by Chase.
Director Michael Ritchie would shoot one take that stuck strictly to the script and then let Chase improvise for each additional take. Many of the improvised takes made it into the final movie.
5. Fletch is a fan of using celebrity and famous character names as his aliases.
Some examples include Ted Nugent, Babar, Igor Stravinsky, Gordon Liddy, Don Corleone, and Harry S. Truman.
6. The film’s theatrical poster features a scene that was cut from the final movie.
In the poster, Fletch is disguised as a hockey player. Fletch was also supposed to go incognito as a relief pitcher for the L.A. Dodgers (featuring a cameo by then head coach Tommy Lasorda)—but that scene was cut, too.
7. Fletch’s robed disguise was based on a real person.
With his long beard and roller skates, Fletch was meant to resemble the new age spiritual healer and guru Ram Dass (author of Be Here Now).
8. Fletch is only Geena Davis’ second feature film.
Her first was 1982’s Tootsie.
9. Chevy Chase and Tim Matheson (who plays Alan Stanwyk) previously vied for the same role.
Chase was originally supposed to play Eric “Otter” Stratton in National Lampoon’s Animal House—a role that eventually went to Matheson.
10. Fletch has another Animal House connection.
The banquet that Fletch interrupts is being held for Fred Dorfman, the brother of Kent Dorfman (aka Flounder), one of the frat brothers from Animal House.
11. Legendary Los Angeles Lakers play-by-play announcer Chick Hearn lent his voice talents to the film.
He provides the narration for the dream in which Fletch is a Lakers player.
12. The movie shot on location in Los Angeles during the 1984 Olympic Games (also in L.A.).
This proved to be a headache for the cast and crew, causing the production to reschedule many scenes.
13. Alan Stanwyck’s mansion may look familiar.
It was also used in The Godfather—for the famous horse head scene.
14. The hat Fletch wears in the end of the movie is from the USCSS Nostromo.
Ring any bells? It’s the spaceship from the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien. In fact Fletch wears the same hat that Harry Dean Stanton’s character wears throughout that movie.
15. A sequel called Fletch Lives, also starring Chevy Chase in the titular role, was released in 1989.
Since then, rumors have swirled about various additional sequels, prequels, and reboots. The most famous is a prequel titled Fletch Won to be directed by Kevin Smith. While Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Jimmy Fallon, and Adam Sandler have all been linked to the title role, the film never materialized. Most recently, Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis has been rumored to play Fletch.