The suspense was killing us, but Liza Minnelli has now joined the cast of Arrested Development season 4, which is currently being filmed. We had hoped that the confirmation of Bluth family attorneys Barry Zuckercorn and Bob Loblaw (Henry Winkler and Scott Baio, respectively), meant that Minnelli's inclusion was inevitable. Now we - along with droves of Arrested fans - can rest easy.
According to TVGuide, Minnelli has landed in Los Angeles to begin filming scenes for her role in season 4, which has been extended from ten episodes to thirteen. Coming back as Lucille Austero (a.k.a. 'Lucille 2') will mark Minnelli's first role in three years, appearing in only a handful of TV shows since her initial stint on Arrested Development. Despite her time away from the camera, it's fair to assume that she, like the rest of the cast, is all too ready to leap back into her former role.
It's difficult to tell, exactly, how Lucille Austero's character will be laced through the apparently more nuanced and overlapping story lines that Mitch Hurwitz has crafted for the new season, since she has affected more than a few plots to date. As an on-again, off-again romantic interest of Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) and long-time social rival to neighbor Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter), the foundations have been laid for Lucille 2 to either help or hinder the Bluth family. For newcomers, rest assured that her chronic vertigo affliction, aversion to convertibles, and generally melodramatic demeanor will be guaranteed for a few laughs.
Of course, considering Austero's complicated past with the Bluths, there is a chance that she is working against the family, assuming things turned out well between her and rival real estate developer Stan Sitwell (Ed Begley Jr.). It's impossible to know what has transpired over the years that the Bluth family has been left to their own devices, so we have no choice but to wait and find out what the writers have in store.
It's incredible to see that the entire Arrested Development cast of major (and minor) characters is willing to reunite for an entire season - and possibly a film - instead of, say, a simple reunion special. If nothing else, it proves that the warm words and fond memories of the cast (which have been voiced since the show's cancellation by Fox in 2006), were more than just lip service. Exactly what that means for the future of the series beyond the current plan is unclear, but the willingness of this many recognizable stars to return - especially given the fame they've earned since - will be hard to ignore. And that's not even taking into account how the series' deal with Netflix might change the industry from here on out.
Now that Minnelli's poorly-standing Austero can be crossed off the list, is it safe to say that everyone is accounted for, or are there still some notable appearances you'd like to see repeated? Charlize Theron, Tom Jane, and Alan Tudyk have all shown up in past seasons, so it's a good bet those in charge will be coming up with even more surprising cameos for their final run. It may be a long shot, but we'd love to see Carl Weathers return to teach a new generation of Arrested fans the intricacies of improvised stewin'. Knowledge is power.
Arrested Development Season 4 premieres on Netflix in 2013.
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Source: TV Guide