Numerous setbacks and rumored money squabbling earlier this year appeared to have rendered the long-awaited Entourage movie dead in the water. More recently, however, the returning ensemble cast reportedly signed their respective deals and the show’s creator/film’s director, Doug Ellin, assured fans that the movie was still “a go.”

But considering the show’s loyal contingent of supporters had become accustomed to hearing such promises over the years, they remained understandably skeptical. Now those faithful followers finally have something solid to hang their hats on, as Ellin confirmed a production start date of January 16, 2014.

The announcement came via Ellin’s Instagram account. Check it out below:

“January 16 start date. Getting pumped”

In requiring no larger than a $30 million budget to green-light the project almost a year ago, Warner Bros. insisted on the January production start date, which will allow the movie to retain the 20-percent tax credit it already received from the California Film Commission earlier this year. Additionally, this news all but confirms that at least some of the film will shoot and take place in Los Angeles, but those who are familiar with the series could have already guessed that.

What’s much harder to speculate on is what the story will entail. Last time we saw Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Vince (Adrian Grenier), Drama (Kevin Dillon), E (Kevin Connolly) and Ari (Jeremy Piven), everything seemed pretty peachy.

In the series’ final few episodes, we saw Turtle finally make his own fortune, Vince get engaged to the lovely Sophia (Alice Eve), Drama land an exclusive TV holding deal, E get back together with a pregnant Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and Ari get offered his dream job as the chairman and CEO of Time Warner.

While it will certainly be fun to catch up with the series’ characters – and find out if Ari accepted the job – the film will have to create some new conflicts and a compelling storyline that weaves all five of its main players together in a balanced fashion. Considering some seasons had difficulty doing this, a compressed two-hour film will definitely have some challenges to overcome.

With that said, plot wasn’t necessarily the show’s biggest draw, as most fans appreciated Entourage for its well-drawn characters, sharp dialogue and memorable celebrity cameos. Considering Ellin (the creator and head writer of the series) will direct from a script he has already written, the film should retain the show’s most likable qualities, which should make it an enjoyable ride – as least for those already on board the Entourage train.

Are you looking forward to an Entourage movie? Let us know in the comments.

The Entourage movie begins production on January 16, 2014. We’ll pass along more updates on the project as they come in.

Source: Doug Ellin (Instagram)