Most fans of the American Pie series don't have very nice things to say about the recent string of direct-to-DVD spin-offs, but you can thank their commercial success for leading to a renewed interest in a fourth theatrical outing (I guess they ran out of plausible ways to shoehorn a new Stifler into each installment).
Harold & Kumar screenwriters Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg signed on to write and direct American Reunion last year and announced their intention to bring back all of the original cast members. Despite the fact that Jason Biggs, Eugene Levy, and Seann William Scott were the only actors recently confirmed to return, leaked plot details indicated that the script included all of the familiar faces - and the source of that information promised that despite what the trades were reporting, everyone would be back.
There's still no official word regarding the involvement of folks like Chris Klein, Tara Reid, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Mena Suvari, or Thomas Ian Nicholas - but according to Deadline, Alyson Hannigan has officially signed on to reprise the role of former band geek Michelle Flaherty.
Hannigan's post-American Pie career has fared a little bit better than her co-stars', and her schedule made her one of the more challenging cast members to lock down. Fortunately, it looks like she'll be able to complete work on American Reunion before the next season of How I Met Your Mother begins production.
Deadline also mentions a piece of information that wasn't included with the previous plot details - her and Jim now have a kid. This probably isn't a huge revelation since it's mentioned briefly in one of the spin-offs, but I'm not sure I would have been all that surprised if the filmmakers had decided to eliminate those from the series' continuity.
I've been a fan of Hannigan's since her days on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I loved her as Michelle in the previous American Pie films. Well, in the first and second installments, anyways. In American Wedding, she seemed like a completely different character to me. She spent most of her screen time whining about Stifler and the wedding plans and the few moments where they tried to inject a little bit of her perverted sense of humor felt sort of disingenuous and forced.
Since a good chunk of her storyline in American Reunion evidently revolves around her marriage to Jim being tested by the young vixen next door, I hope there's still room for Michelle to get some laughs. It'd be such a waste to use the character primarily to service unnecessary melodrama again.
We'll keep you updated on further casting developments for American Reunion.