Take this news with a grain of sand, hermano. Screen Rant is reporting that they may have the plot for the long-rumored Arrested Development movie. I’m not crazy about the idea of an AD movie, but this sounds like it could be pretty great:
Ron Howard is making a movie about the Bluths using an A-List cast. But Dr. Tobias plays himself because nobody wants to play him in the movie. The Bluths decide to make their own movie in contention with Ron Howard’s.
The show has always been meta and the concept would certainly be appealing to a studio who could hire big name actors to help sell the movie based on—let’s face it—a show that was cancelled because it couldn’t build an audience. Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on this plot and my feelings on an Arrested Development movie.
The story would certainly follow from the last scene of the series where Maeby pitches Arrested Development as a TV series to Ron Howard but he says he thinks it would work better as a movie.
I’ve never been gung-ho about making a movie out of Arrested Development. I think the series comes full circle, ends on a high note, and that a movie is a risky attempt to prolong the magic. But fans can’t leave well enough alone and so every cast member in every interview they ever have to do from now until they die will be “What’s the status of the Arrested Development movie?” Even if the movie happens, the new question will be “What’s the status of an Arrested Development sequel?”
And while the show was certainly one of the most self-referential TV series of all-time, another part of its charm is that it consistently rewarding long-time viewers. Part of what kept away new viewers is that the show couldn’t stop throwing in in-jokes. There’s was absolutely humor beyond the show’s universe (watching Barry, played by Henry Winkler, hop over a shark was one of the most hilariously subtle jokes I’ve ever seen on a TV show), Fox’s skittishness understandably stems from the face that this is a canceled TV show. The last canceled series to get turned into a movie was Serenity and that was a flop.
There would almost certainly be a demand from the studio that the movie not go too heavy on in-jokes. But cutting out that element could alienate fans and it’s no guarantee that it creates a wide appeal for the movie. Furthermore, fans probably expect jokes from the series and while you can get away with some (“I’ve made a huge mistake.”) there could be too much set-up to explain a joke like “I blue myself.”
I haven’t even mentioned the trickiness of getting every actor to work out their schedule to do the movie or how the show tried to reference current events. When you consider all of these factors (and I’m sure there are some I haven’t even thought of), it’s understandable why this flick hasn’t happened yet. It’s not as simple as creator Mitch Hurwitz writing up a script and Fox signing the whole cast.