After charming its way into America’s jaded hearts with three years of classic comedic television, Arrested Development was sent to the place where all shows too good for television go: Cancellation-town. Ever since then (five years and counting), there has been relentless talk of a feature film follow-up, but little else.
But then, two days ago, Peter Serafinowicz, who co-starred in Mitch Hurwitz’s now-canceled Running Wilde, said that Hurwitz was busy writing the Arrested Development screenplay with plans to put him in it.
Arrested Development creator Hurwitz himself said he not only wants the movie to be filmed this year, but also released this year.
Serafinowicz, who appeared in Shaun of the Dead, spoke to Split Sider about the movie and his involvement, saying:
“ […]Mitch told me is that he's writing me into the Arrested Development movie, which I'm super excited about. […] It's all properly happening. I don't know anything about it other than that he's writing it and it's happening and I'm going to be in it, apparently.”
Then, as if by clockwork, Mitch Hurwitz spoke to Digital Spy about the film the very next day:
“We've started [the pre-production] process and it is our sincere hope to shoot it this year and get it out this year. That's what we're hoping, but a lot of things have to fall into place for that to happen.”
When asked about plot details, Hurwitz was tight-lipped:
“I want to keep whatever it is we end up with as a surprise, which kind of betrays the fact that we might not have the whole thing worked out!”
And why is Hurwitz being so tight-lipped if he wants the movie to come out later this year?
“I don't like to toy with the affections of our fans. They've been so supportive and we're so grateful, so I kind of hate to answer [the story] question until I can say, 'Yep, we've shot it, it opens next week'. Otherwise it feels like we're toying with people and we do not mean to do that. It has just taken a while to get it going.”
Last month, Ron Howard, who would likely narrate the movie and could even appear as himself (a la the final episode), talked about why it has taken Hurwitz so long to get going on the project:
“[H]e's been very involved in his television company and I think it's reached a point where he now has a window to really focus on Arrested Development and give it the time and attention that it really needs.”
Arrested Development, in my humble opinion, is one of the greatest television shows of all time, and it’s primarily responsible for the current stylistic movement of sitcoms (Community, Modern Family, even The US Office and 30 Rock). I'm the sort of fan that has held out hope for a feature film – for better or worse, through thick and thin – since the very moment it was canceled.
In fact, just last week I literally had a dream about what the movie might entail. Michael worked at Sitwell. Lucille was in prison. George Senior was free, happy, on his own. George Michael was in college. Buster got his hand back. GOB was still being GOB. Lindsay was exploring her new life as a non-Bluth. Tobias was still denying his own homosexuality. And, in a very self-referential development, Maeby was filming the movie version of the Bluths’ tumultuous lives. Needless to say, it was awesome.
The Arrested Development movie -- which will star Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat, if all goes well -- may or may not start filming this year. Let’s cross our fingers that it does.