Earlier today, a tweet from The New Yorker, reporting straight from their own festival in New York, announced the unthinkable as Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz revealed during a cast reunion that the series would be back for another season, but that’s not all. This new season would lead directly into the long-gestating movie that has been talked about by each cast member, every other month, since the invention of television. Since that tweet, more details have surfaced from the festival from EW who reveals that Hurwitz intends to shoot 9 to 10 episodes, each focusing on on an individual character from the Bluth clan (which includes Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia DeRossi, David Cross, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat). Each episode will catch audiences up on what the characters have been doing for the past five years since the series’ cancellation in 2006. More details on the new season and the forthcoming movie after the jump.
[Update: The entire 100-minute reunion Arrested Development reunion panel is now available for your viewing pleasure after the jump; we've also added an interview with Ron Howard where he talks about how the new season will relate to the movie]
[Update: In order to watch the entire reunion panel visit The New Yorker official Facebook page, "like" it, then the entire video will be available to watch (thanks to The Film Stage for the heads up)].
One of the series producers and filmmaker Ron Howard says,
“In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story. So, in working on the screenplay I found that even if I just gave five minutes per character to that backstory, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together. And that kinda gave birth to this thing we’ve not been pursuing for a while and we’re kinda going public with a little bit. We’re trying to do kind of limited run series into the movie.”
Then Hurwtiz went on to talk a bit about some what we’ll see in this short season before the movie actually comes together:
“We’re basically hoping to do nine or 10 episodes with almost one character per episode, where like the first episode will just be Buster. We’re kinda picturing it like, um, well the latest joke we have is that, you know, it’s Cambridge, Massachusetts and there’s all these scientists in lab coats and they’re waiting for somebody and Buster comes through the door wearing a lab quote and says `let’s begin,’ and they say, `you don’t get to wear the lab coat, we’re experimenting on you. [garbled] And then we go through his life and we meet the people in his life and maybe he goes to see his therapist who he’s getting a good rate on because it’s Tobias and he’s lost his license. We can do cross overs and things like that. But it’s an unusual style of show I think and we get him to a certain point of peril in his life and then maybe we jump over to like Maeby and she’s living with Cornel West … We’ll do this kind of thing that builds the peril in their lives until they all come together, really, in the first scene of the movie. It requires, and Ron [Howard] has been working on this too, it just requires studios to work together, they don’t normal work together in film and TV. It’s a really ambitious project but it’s also a very simple project in a way because it kind of gives the fans a level of detail for `granularity,’ which is a big word on the East Coast.”
So will Fox, the network who canned the amazing short-lived comedy, be bringing the show back like Family Guy? Actually it looks like Showtime (who once considered saving the show from cancellation five years ago) and Netflix are the two top contenders to bring the episodes to audiences. Right now Hurtwitz says the hope is that the series will take off next fall (with their writing about halfway done), but after all we’ve heard about a revival, it’s probably safe to not hold your breath until cameras are rolling. Of course, the new series will be a great gauge as to how the fanbase as grown as the series has found great life on DVD, and whether or not they’ll show up for a movie in theaters which is obviously still at least a couple years away. Either way, this is nothing but good news for fans who have waited so long for the despicable and crazy Bluth family to make a triumphant return.
Update: In an interview with G4, Howard says Hurwitz decided to write a fourth season when he realized he was giving too much of the film script over to reintroducing and catching up with the Bluths. The actual reunion will be the movie. Here’s the interview: