Having made a comeback with a fourth season on Netflix, Arrested Development once again reunited us with the hilariously inept and largely dysfunctional Bluth family, comprising of well-known Hollywood faces like Jason Bateman (The Gift), Michael Cera (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Will Arnett (The LEGO Movie). Originating 13 years ago in 2003, the Bluths have risen and fallen (and fallen some more) on the grounds of George Sr.'s ill-informed business decisions, so when season three ended in 2006 after cancellation, no one - not fans nor its creator - knew what would become of the sharply-written comedy.
Cut to 2013, where Netflix - as the company has so successfully began to do more frequently - brought the show to their streaming service. There, fans got to witness the fate of Michael, Gob, George Michael, Tobias, Lindsay, Buster, Maeby, and Lucille, but even once the dust had settled there were some corners calling for another season or, in some cases, a movie.
In a recent interview, the show's creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed firmer plans for the fifth season while speaking to Esquire, whereby he stated that Arrested Development will definitely be back:
"I know. It's crazy. We were also building to a murder mystery and we were laying all these clues, and it was before there was this sudden interest in true crime with Fred Durst, Making a Murderer, and OJ. And there were so many OJ references in the fourth season. We even had Gob find a perfectly good OJ Simpson in the dumpster behind the wax museum. He was, like, driving around with this OJ Simpson and that was going to fit into the murder plot. But we'll find new things. I'm trying, man."
It's quite interesting to hear that the show pre-empted the surge in popularity for the murder mystery shows Hurwitz mentions. We had previously learned that season five would be a serialized murder mystery, beginning with Buster being arrested for murder. In fact, when details on season five emerged it had to undergo rewrites because it mirrored other things, such as George Sr. coming out as a transgender woman (with actor Jeffrey Tambor now playing a transgender character on the acclaimed Amazon series Transparent); to have him as a mute woman (mirroring Robert Durst disguise in The Jinx); and even the idea that the Bluths would make Mexico pay for a wall (as per Donald Trump's real-life outrageous claim).
When asked whether Arrested Development season five will is a sure thing, Hurwitz was keen to stamp a firm 'yes' on any doubt:
"It'll happen. It'll definitely happen. Not before the election, but it's definitely going to happen. I say that because the actors want to do it, the studio wants to do it, Netflix wants to do it, I want to do it. It's just making it happen. There's no one resisting. There's a recut, too, of the fourth season, just to make it airable on TV. They're like the old Arrested Developments. We redid all the narration and reshot a few little things. Now we have 22 episodes, and they're delightful to watch and they're much less work than the Netflix series. My hope is we'll find a place to air those."
It's not huge news that its creator says it's happening soon, especially with all the doubt circling. It's one thing actors wanting to be involved, but due to busy movie schedules it'll likely be a difficult task shooting it. Arguably the juicier reveal is the recutting of season four. It's conflicting because it suggests that they weren't content with how the Netflix series turned out (possibly due to studio constraints?), so is disconcerting they sent a series to air that they weren't entirely satisfied with. Many fans out there loved the fourth season, but there were plenty who were left disappointed by its more mainstream attempts to conform to popular comedy. It's also implied that Netflix aren't willing to take this edited season four, so it'll be interesting to see where it ends up and how accessible that'll be to fans.
Either way, a recut season four will likely encourage doubters back to give it another go, especially if they've formatted it in a similar style to what old-school fans are familiar with.
Arrested Development season 5 doesn't have an air date yet, but we'll let you know when it does.