LATEST: Cult movie maker Kevin Smith has reportedly quit the planned FLETCH WON film after spending years fighting for pal Jason Lee to play the reporter created in the 1980s by Chevy Chase.

The CLERKS director's decision to walk away from his labour of love comes after a spat with producer DAVID LIST, according to film gossip website MovieHole.net.

List tells the site, "Kevin Smith is no longer affiliated with the Fletch film as writer or director. His type of comedy just isn't Fletch.

"The movie is going to be made, and, if all goes as planned, should be in production in early 2006."

List insists Smith's departure was amicable.

GARDEN STATE star Zach Braff has long been a favourite of producers to play the lead character in the long-awaited follow up to 1989 movie FLETCH LIVES.

Meanwhile, List claims funnyman Chase is being targeted for a cameo appearance in the new Fletch film.

The producer adds, "I think it would be great. I think everyone will welcome his being a part of it."