‘Arrested Development’ Movie May Depend on Success of ‘Running Wilde’

Published 5 years ago by

arrested development movie1 Arrested Development Movie May Depend on Success of Running Wilde

Arrested Development was, in this Screen Rant writer’s opinion, a masterpiece of television art and the best series of the last decade, if not longer. Taking its conceptual cues from Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, it infused weird but wonderful characters with the best comedic writing since, well, the beginning of time.

After being ruthlessly cancelled in its third season, rumors of an Arrested Development film have continually run rampant, spread primarily by the cast and crew themselves. Almost five years and five hundred empty promises later, Arrested Development fans are still waiting. Now, according to creator Mitch Hurwitz, we might be waiting even longer…that is, if people don’t start watching his new show, Running Wilde.

In an interview with The New York Times, Hurwitz said:

“[The Arrested Development movie is] very much the next thing that’s going to happen [for me]. The hope has been that I could get [Running Wilde] going and put all the pieces in place so that it can continue to be successful, and then have the means to take the year and make this movie. So that’s what I’m trying to do. […] It’s like, buy this magazine or we kill this dog. Watch this show or you don’t get an Arrested movie.”

Oh, Mitch Hurwitz, you incorrigible scamp! I’m inclined to assume that he’s just being sarcastic in the above quote, but regardless—don’t you dare toy with my fragile emotions here, Hurtwitz!

The idea—the vague glimmer of hope—that an Arrested Development movie might one day become a reality has kept me going on those rough, dark days, through good times and bad, through thick, through thin, and everything else. It has been my rock in a sea of turbulent, death-inducing tidal waves, hurricanes and Segways gone awry. To tide me over, I’ve endured terrible movie after terrible movie and watched the three perfect seasons of Arrested via DVD countless times (well over fifty). I need this movie so bad that I will, if begging is required, be on my knees. Begging. And crying. Mostly begging, though.

national lampoon Arrested Development Movie May Depend on Success of Running Wildenational lampoon arrested development Arrested Development Movie May Depend on Success of Running Wilde

But if our only means of getting an Arrested Development movie is a sudden-yet-incredibly-unlikely up-tick in Running Wilde’s popularity? Well, we might as well pack it in right now, people. Whereas Arrested was critically acclaimed and adored by fans—a fan base growing every day by way of DVD, Hulu, and Netflix—Wilde is neither/nor. Whereas Arrested had a perfect cast with nine great actors at the top of their game, Wilde has the admittedly great Will Arnett doing what Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards tried to do after Seinfeld said goodbye. Whereas Arrested revolutionized the situational comedy—influencing shows like The Office, Community, Modern Family, and so on—Wilde is your typical over-the-top ’90s sitcom, only without the laugh track.

To put it simply, Running Wilde is no Arrested Development. (Just ask our very own Anthony Ocasio.)

For the uninitiated, check out this classic Arrested episode:

Again, I’m hoping with every fiber of my being that Mitch Hurwitz was being sarcastic when he said that Running Wilde needs to succeed for an Arrested movie to exist. And indeed, there’s some indication that he was, because as recently as August, he told The Hollywood Reporter:

“We’re writing [the Arrested Development movie]; we’re halfway through. The reason I’ve been so cagey about it is because I know it’s taken us a while to get it going, and […] fans have been so kind to us. I really want to do it. It’s not going to be a big money maker. It’s going to be fun, like a family reunion. The only stumbling block could be scheduling. Everybody wants to play together.”

Though Hurwitz claims that an Arrested movie would be no major moneymaker, he neglects to mention that it wouldn’t cost much either. There needn’t be any expensive cinematography nor big budget special effects for a movie largely composed of scenes where people talk and do chicken impressions for the purposes of making humor. In fact, an Arrested movie wouldn’t feel right if it weren’t shot on the cheap with handheld digital cameras a la the show. Add to that the fact that producer/narrator Ron Howard and the entire cast—Jason Batemen, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter—seem totally onboard, and this movie is good to go, whether or not Running Wilde lights up the ratings charts in the coming weeks and months. Which, it won’t.

In that same Hollywood Reporter article, Hurwitz talks about his tendency to write “unlikable” characters because they’re funnier than “likable” ones—which is a statement I agree with. Apparently, Running Wilde’s pilot was largely rewritten and reshot with notes from Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly pushing the characters toward that nebulous concept called “likeability.” Maybe that’s the reason Wilde has so far been barely more than ‘meh’? My question is, are these the same Fox execs who mis-marketed Arrested Development to its early and undeserved grave? Because those characters may have been jerks, but they were also some of the most likable characters in all of television.

running wilde Arrested Development Movie May Depend on Success of Running Wilde

Running Wilde, starring Will Arnett, Keri Russell, Michael Morris, and David Cross, is on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30C and isn’t fairing so well in the ratings game. All I’m saying is, maybe if the characters weren’t so “likable,” Wilde might at least be critically acclaimed.

As for the Arrested Development movie—the veritable Holy Grail of movies made from TV shows that were unfairly canceled in their prime? Well, this is one fan who refuses to believe the project’s dead until every creator, producer, and cast member involved confirms it’s dead thrice over. Yes, even you, Ron Howard. Especially you.

Sources: The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter

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  1. COME ON!

  2. I’m all in for an Arrested Development movie. ALL IN. I don’t think Running Wilde is all that bad. It has enough moments to keep me watching.

  3. Running Wilde kinda sucks, its a dumb guy who falls in love with hot sensitive girl, thats half of all movies ever made.

    I do like the show right before it “Raising Hope” its actally pretty funny.

  4. If it wasn’t for the hype I don’t think anyone would’ve said AD was a masterpiece just by watching the first 2 episodes. In retrospective they are truly hilarious but I think the most important thing before judging a show is to get to know the characters well. Though I do believe the unlikeable character of Will Arnett would be best as secondary as in AD.

    It is also completely unfair to compare this with AD. If you do, anything is going to fail because nothing will live up to it.

    I’m surprised no one mentioned Serafinowicz, he was one of the best things in the show for me.

    • That’s a fair enough statement. The first two AD episodes were not seemingly amazing. And, in fact, I have continued watching Running Wilde and find it fairly enjoyable, if not at the level of Arrested Development. So I’m in agreement with you, sir.

  5. Arrested Development is way better than Running Wilde but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t watch the latter.

    “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” -Don Vito Corleone, Godfather (1972)
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  6. Running Wilde gets better and better. Love the show and last night’s was hilarious with surprises all the time..paul schaefer…how funny..Nothing can ever compare with Arrested Development and this show is not supposed to. It stands on its own and I love the characters and such fun to watch. Give it a chance.

  7. Arrested Development died for our sins

  8. I tried watching Running Wilde and thought it was really reallllly bad. This show isn’t going to last the season.

    As for Arrested Development, I must DISagree with the author of this article. It was a stupid show when it premiered and never got any better. THAT is why it was cancelled after 3 seasons. I tried several times to watch it, but it was the most UNFUNNY show ever on TV. Then again, The Royal Tannenbaums was one of the worst movies ever made.

    • I think your picture says it all, Andy S. Just as dinosaurs are extinct, you have no taste. You can’t help it.

      • It’s Godzilla, so I guess you should put glasses on. Maybe then you’d actually see how bad that those shows actually are…or maybe you’re wearing rose colored lenses? And anyone that uses the name “beckham” must be a soccer fan..talk about no taste.

        • Boy, you really have issues. It probably isn’t just a matter of taste for you, Andy.

    • To each his/her own, but there’s a reason it’s so revered and loved and frequently talked about, almost five years after it was on the air. There’s a reason its fan based has quintupled since cancellation. You might not have liked it, but it sure wasn’t “stupid.”

      • “Based” = “base”

        • Twilight is revered as well and that is even dumber than AD and RW. Just because something has a big fan base doesn’t mean it’s NOT stupid. Pro wrestling anyone??

          • A) Twilight is not revered, B) it’s not critically acclaimed, and C) it’s pretty well understood to be what it is by most of its fans: a romance novel. Only time will tell, of course, but a hundred years from now, I’ll bet that people will still be watching and loving and lauding Arrested Development and Twilight will just be some forgotten series of bad books. The fact that you think “liking soccer” equals bad taste only further proves that debating with you is pointless to the nth degree.

            • If it’s fan base has grown exponentially like you claim it has, then Fox CERTAINLY would have renewed the show and/or made a movie of it. They canned Family Guy until they realized how popular it became in home video and reruns. Thus they renewed it and is one of their highest rated shows. If the audience for AD was really there, the show would be back on the air and there would have been a movie already.

              As for soccer, paint drying and grass growing have more action than that dull sport. Let’s play 3 hours and have a 0-0 tie!!

              To each their own, though, I guess.

              • Showtime wanted to continue Arrested Development as a television show after Fox canned it, but Mitch Hurwitz nixed the idea. Fox’s wrangling forced him to move on to other things. Hurwitz and company decided, after the third season was finished, that they didn’t want to continue the show anymore, that they’d prefer to film a movie. The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is schedule conflicts with the various actors and the creators. Ron Howard and Imagine want this movie to be made and, considering Hurwitz was likely joking about an AR movie depending on the success of Running Wilde, it will probably be made next year.

                Most sports are duller than watching paint dry. Soccer is athleticism unlike most American sports. But, yeah, you’re right, to each their own.

              • “To each their own..” Instead of watching paint dry or grass grow, try studying a grammar textbook. Should be “to each HIS own.”

                • Unless you’re a female. What are you, sexist?

                  • Wow, you’re such a witty fellow. Must have taken you a long time to come up with that response.

                    • Andy S,

                      Don’t sweat it. Comment deleted and ban-hammer has been dropped.


                  • Not a sexist, but I am a man, so I would say “to each HIS own”. Kapish?

  9. I liked Arrested Development, but I do think it’s a bit overrated. I’d like to see a movie of it, but honestly I don’t really care either way if it gets made or not. I don’t think it was even close to a perfect show it was entertaining, but had plenty of flaws.