Arrested Development became the ultimate cult comedy after its three-year run on FOX, then by some miracle was brought back for a fourth season via Netflix. Though season 4 confused some people with its wild non-linear narrative (which Mitch Hurwitz at one point said he was re-cutting in chronological order), the 15-episode run still contains many moments of incredible comedy, making it clear that Hurwitz and his brilliant cast still have plenty of great ideas to explore if they ever get a chance to explore them.
Every time Arrested Development ends another season, fans wonder if they will ever see the insane Bluth Family back on the screen for more off-the-wall adventures (despite assurances that new seasons will indeed be coming). Well, there is now reason to be optimistic that Hurwitz's masterpiece will get the fifth season he has promised and with all the important cast members along for the ride (including Will Arnett, who has expressed frustration in the past about the slow process of getting the show back in production).
Arrested Development producer Brian Grazer said at the TCA 2017 press tour (via Deadline) that am apparently very complicated deal is close to being struck - one that would bring back all of the main Arrested Development cast members for a fifth go-around on Netflix:
“We are close... I think we found a way to create the compensation structure for all the actors and create a work matrix so they can still make movies and do other things and it will all integrate. So we are really close — I think within a couple of weeks at the most.”
Grazer's talk of "compensation structure" and "work matrix" sounds like it could have come right from the mouth of George Bluth, Sr. himself. The key part is when Grazer says "I think within a couple of weeks at the most." So, within a couple of weeks we should have definitive word that the full cast is coming back. Clearly, Arrested Development season 5 can't go forward unless you have all the actors back. If you even have to lose one of the show's many memorable characters, it almost feels like it would be better off not continuing at all.
Obviously it's not easy assembling a cast as big and busy as the one that graces Arrested Development. Getting in stars as popular as Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor and David Cross and working out how to pay all of them and put together a shooting schedule that works for everyone, sounds like it would require a combination mathematical genius and cat wrangler. Issues with shooting schedules and pay were clearly part of the reason for season 4's oddball narrative structure, and it looks like we could be in for another season where the story has to be styled to fit the realities of actor availability.
However season 5's story works out, it's certain that Mitch Hurwitz will whip up some properly insane, brilliant, hilarious situations. Hurwitz in the past has teased season 5 as a murder-mystery along the lines of Making a Murderer, but who knows if that idea is even still in play. When you're dealing with a comedic mind as ingenious as Mitch Hurwitz's, you just never know what to expect.
We'll continue to keep you updated on Arrested Development season 5.