Chevy Chase isn’t one to let a movie franchise die, or to take a backseat to anyone else. In a recent interview with Collider, the 68-year-old comedic actor discussed a new Vacation movie based on a script he wrote himself. He also mentioned the Fletch reboot supposedly in the works, and his refusal to play any part in the film except the title character.
Chase had his heyday back in the ’80s, when he starred as the lovable fool and family man Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation. He also played a savvy and sharp-witted investigative reporter in Fletch a few years later. Both films continued on as popular franchises, and though some might argue Chase’s career has pretty much dried up, he has seen a bit of a resurgence in popularity recently as he co-stars on NBC’s popular sitcom Community.
Both a Vacation sequel and a Fletch remake have been reported in the works by Warner Bros., and producers attached to the Vacation project have said the new installment will tell Rusty’s story. Rusty was Clark’s son in the original films, and in the updated Vacation Rusty will be experiencing shenanigans similar to those his father endured before him.
But according to Chase, he has written his own script with Vacation co-star Beverly D’Angelo (Mrs. Griswold) that has the whole Griswold family getting shipwrecked on an isolated island, kind of like Swiss Family Robinson.
Actually Beverly D’Angelo and I have been working on our own script, which is pretty dang funny. I’ve written an idea that would be basically like a ‘Swiss Family Griswold’. There’s a cruise, there’s a fire on the ship, we think the whole ship’s on fire and we jump—it’s just a little fire—and we end up on an island where we meet Randy [Quaid] somewhere who’s been left there from an old Survivor series. I like that idea. It’s hard to sell these things to the Warners people. It depends on who’s there and what their mood is and what they think people are gonna like.
On the Fletch remake, Chase intimates that he is still interested in playing Fletch, but that he won’t take a bit part; it’s lead character or nothing.
It’s the same thing with Fletch, I think they had Fletch and then they sold that to Warners too. So we’ll see. I mean look, I’m not gonna do Fletch unless I’m Fletch, if they start writing something for a kid who’s Fletch and I’m just helping out, ‘Bye’. I mean, there’s no reason why, at my age, I can’t still be Fletch. I’ve always been getting this impression that they’d like me to be mentoring a younger Fletch type thing.
A geriatric Fletch really doesn’t do it for me, and it certainly doesn’t stay true to the fun detective novels the original films were based on; novels with a main character who is not almost 70-years-old. I don’t want to sound like an ageist, but he’s simply too old for that role. And if the Griswold family does return for another Vacation, it makes more sense to have Chase playing a grandfather.