John Krasinski - A Fletch For His Generation?

Irwin M. Fletcher is a master of disguise, which seems appropriate since the character has spent the past decade looking like everyone from Chevy Chase to Jason Lee to Ryan Reynolds and Zach Braff. After his next transformation, however, the cunning columnist from the "Fletch" series might just be wielding the perfectly-timed sarcasm skills of an "Office" star.

"Oh, wow, thank you, that's such a huge compliment," grinned John Krasinski this past weekend, reacting to the observation that his skills in the new flick "License to Wed" make him seem like an obvious choice to become a younger, hipper Fletch for his generation. "My name was tossed around a little bit for the role, and it's something that [I might consider]."

If you consider yourself a fan of the fine art of sarcasm, you may now begin dancing in the streets. After years of rumors about a third "Fletch" flick that would put a too-old Chase back into Dr. Rosenpenis' stolen scrubs, details began emerging about a reinvention of the character via a big-screen adaptation of "Fletch Won," the eighth book in novelist Gregory Mcdonald's series. In 2000, "Mallrats" co-collaborators Kevin Smith and Jason Lee began laying the groundwork for re-inventing the character; after they departed, rumors of Ryan Reynolds gave way to the new team of Zach Braff and "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence, which subsequently died once Braff left the project earlier this year.

Lately, rumors of an ill-fitting Joshua Jackson casting had made the Internet rounds. But, according to the red-hot Krasinski, the door is still open.

"I have no idea [if they'll cast me]," the 27-year-old actor grinned. "I've been shooting a movie down in North Carolina, so I've kind of lost touch with who [else] is in the running."

Nevertheless, Krasinski cited the 1985 comedy classic (and, we can only assume to a lesser degree, it's 1989 sequel "Fletch Lives") as an influence on his own dry style.

"I mean, Chevy Chase not only created that role, but he did it pretty damn well," Krasinski said of his possible predecessor. "So [playing that character] is a scary situation. I don't know what's going on with it right now, but I am sure whoever does it will be fantastic. You just have to have some guts to do that."

With "The Office" attracting millions of viewers each week, and Hollywood busting down his door (that North Carolina film he referred to is the George Clooney football comedy "Leatherheads"), the keepers of the "Fletch" flame might be wise to offer Krasinski the starring role for what they expect to be a new comedic franchise.

For his part, the actor isn't sure he's brave enough to slip into Chevy Chase's tennis shorts, but he is willing to consider the proposition — as long as it doesn't entail his dressing up as Little Bo Peep.

"[Negotiating something like this] is a give or take kind of thing," he cautioned, optimistically. "I read the script, and it is hilarious. It's just one of those things that is so terrifying, to step up and be in a role that was done so perfectly."