Arrested Development Movie Will Happen After 10-Episode Mini-Season
10.03.11 by Ryan
Ever since the final episode of Fox's short-lived sitcom Arrested Development went off the air in 2006 with show producer (and uncredited narrator) Ron Howard appearing as himself to claim that he sees the rights to the Bluth family story "as a movie," loyal fans have been impatiently awaiting an Arrested Development movie.
In March, series star Jason Bateman revealed that series creator Mitchell Hurwitz was "very deep into the work on [a script]" and that Hurwitz could finish the script by the end of the year, which is not too dissimilar from comments Bateman made in March of last year when he said "we're hoping for the end of the year."
Finally, however, it looks like the movie is actually coming together, with Hurwitz recently unveiling the best news yet for
Arrested Development fans.
While attending a cast reunion for a New Yorker Festival, EW reports that Hurwitz revealed that he was halfway through the script for an Arrested Development movie that would shoot next summer, and then dropped a bomb when he said he also planned to make a limited-series TV show — a fourth season, essentially — which would help fans catch up with what the characters have been up to in the past five years.
I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by there was so much more to the story. In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story. So, in working on the screenplay I found that even if I just gave five minutes per character to that backstory, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together. And that kinda gave birth to this thing we’ve not been pursuing for a while and we’re kinda going public with a little bit. We’re trying to do kind of limited run series into the movie.
The plan is an ambitious one, and one that Howard recently failed at with a planned adaptation of The Dark Tower, which included movie trilogy and two TV mini series to air in-between. Still, EW has confirmed that Arrested Development producers are in talks with Showtime and Netflix for the limited series, which Hurwitz says will begin with Buster Bluth (Tony Hale).
We’re basically hoping to do nine or 10 episodes with almost one character per episode, where like the first episode will just be Buster. We’re kinda picturing it like, um, well the latest joke we have is that, you know, it’s Cambridge, Massachusetts and there’s all these scientists in lab coats and they’re waiting for somebody and Buster comes through the door wearing a lab quote and says "let’s begin," and they say, "you don’t get to wear the lab coat, we’re experimenting on you." And then we go through his life and we meet the people in his life and maybe he goes to see his therapist who he’s getting a good rate on because it’s Tobias and he’s lost his license. We can do cross overs and things like that. But it’s an unusual style of show I think and we get him to a certain point of peril in his life and then maybe we jump over to like Maeby (Alia Shawkat) and she’s living with Cornel West... We’ll do this kind of thing that builds the peril in their lives until they all come together, really, in the first scene of the movie. It requires, and Ron [Howard] has been working on this too, it just requires studios to work together, they don’t normal work together in film and TV. It’s a really ambitious project but it’s also a very simple project in a way because it kind of gives the fans a level of detail for "granularity," which is a big word on the East Coast.
I really have to say, we’ve talked about this, we’re all game, we hated be coy, we’ve been trying to put together this more ambitious idea and I think we’re very close, the script is halfway done and we have to get the film companies on board. They’ve always been great to us but you know times are tough and money is tight but I’m very hopeful, there is business left to be done but creatively we have a very specific plan of how it would come out and what we would do and when we would shoot it. Our hope is that, perhaps the series is in the fall.
Bateman was in attendance at the Arrested Development reunion, and decided to confirm the news via his Twitter account, likely because he is the cast member who is asked most often about the movie.
It's true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early '13. VERY excited!
By concentrating on individual characters, that might cut down on scheduling issues with the cast which includes the constantly working Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, Jessica Walter, and Will Arnett.