The Clerks director's decision to walk away from his labor of love comes after a spat with producer David List, according to film gossip Web site 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 favorite 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."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.