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Arrested Development is back

Courtney Cox | Wednesday, October 12, 2011


“I’m peeing with @batemanjason at the moment … and we can confirm that we are going to make new AD eps and a movie,” Will Arnett announced via Twitter on Oct. 2.


Any true fan would know immediately that Arnett was talking about the fabled “Arrested Development” movie. There have been rumors swirling about a possible film version of the cult television show for years, but it looks like this time the rumors are true.


That same day Jason Bateman tweeted, “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!”


Mitch Hurwitz, the creator and executive producer of “Arrested Development,” responded to all of the buzz with a simple, “Yup.”


For those not in the know, “Arrested Development” was a television series that followed the dysfunctional Bluth family after the patriarch, George Bluth, was arrested for fraud.  His son, Michael Bluth, took over the Bluth Company and kept the rest of the family from falling apart.


It has been nearly six years since the show was cancelled in the middle of its third season because of low ratings, but the show grew in popularity after its cancellation and became the go-to model for smart, quick-witted comedy.


“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,” Hurwitz told The New York Times. “So in working on the screenplay, I found even if I just gave five minutes per character to that back story, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together.”


So the plan, according to Hurwitz, is to focus each of the 10 episodes on a different character. The series is meant to be a prelude to the film itself.


George, Lucille, Michael, Lindsey, Gob, Buster, Tobias, Maeby and George Michael would undoubtedly be the nine immediate family members featured in the episodes, but that leaves room for one more character to play a prominent role in the film.


Would producers choose to feature Annyong, the adopted Korean son of George and Lucille Bluth who joined their family to avenge his grandfather, the creator of the original banana stand?


Or would they feature Steve Holt, the illegitimate son of Gob and Eve Holt (who is never seen in the series apart from a yearbook photo)? Steve is known for defeating George Michael in student council elections and having a relationship with Maeby (who, ironically, turned out to be his cousin).


The best part of the series was its ability to develop the most miniscule characters in a way that made fans recognize them instantly and use them to weed out the fanatics from the people who had merely heard of the series.


Who among these small parts will appear in the film or series is unknown, but one can only hope that characters like Carl Weathers, Gene Parmesan, J. Walter Weatherman and Larry Middleman will be dutifully incorporated into the script. And, if Franklin Delano Bluth doesn’t make an appearance, it might not even be worth watching.


So much remains unanswered about the 10-episode series and subsequent movie, which is a bit concerning. No network deal has been reached for airing the series and no studios have been confirmed for the film, but if the overwhelming enthusiasm of supporters is any indication, whoever does get these deals stands to make a killing.