Arrested Development stars are serious about making a movie

July 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm 1 comment

I don’t understand how “Arrested Development” never found its audience while on the air. It’s consistently one of the highest-rated shows on hulu, I hear people quote it all the time and big stars with pull like MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann have been known to plug it on a regular basis. There’s no denying that it’s one of the smartest shows to ever grace the broadcast airwaves — in that sense, I’d say it’s on a par with “The Office,” although that show quickly found the massive audience that always eluded “Arrested Development” during it’s three years on the air.

But anyone that knows or is a fan of the show also knows that “Arrested Development” is far from dead.

Now, I’m sure you all remember the interest in the project that Jason Bateman was able to stir up during his busy “Juno” press tour (With he and creator Mitchell Hurwitz releasing a joint statement saying they’re both in if the project ever gets made), and that turned a lot of heads. Bateman talked about the movie at any and every opportunity while he was out pushing “Juno,” but he also promised that nothing would move forward with the project until the WGA writers’ strike was settled.

This was great news, but a lot of it seemed like hot air from Bateman, who may have wanted to see a movie get made, but I really don’t think he ultimately has a lot of pull with the bigwigs and executives at FOX; you know, the ones that would have to greenlight and finance the movie. The same guys that canceled the television series

But more recently (and more promising) Bateman used his press tour of “Hancock” to push the idea even further (I’m starting to see a pattern here. Use big movies to push other ideas. Interesting). Unlike the “Juno” press tour, where a lot of his words seemed speculative and wishful, Bateman seemed a lot more confident this time around.

What’s the difference? He’s 100 percent sure that everyone else, not just he and Hurwitz, are excited about a potential movie. This from the MTV Movies:

“We all want to do it. All the actors want to do it, the writers want to do it, and the boss wants to do it. And they are working on making a deal, probably as we speak,” Bateman said. “But it’s a long, sort of drawn-out, complicated business process. ‘Arrested Development’ is such a specific tone, it doesn’t lend itself to mass appeal, as played out by the fact that it’s canceled. So it has to be done for a price. They can’t spend the money they spent on ‘Hancock.’

“So they have to shoot it for a small price, and we have to figure out if we can do it for that price,” he continued. “They’re working it out, and hopefully we’ll be able to know something in the next month.”

It’s not secret that FOX would be exponentially more interested in an “Arrested Development” movie if the entire, brilliantly put-together, cast and everyone else from the crew are back for the movie. If someone like Jeffery Tambor, David Cross or Michael Cera decided they weren’t coming back for whatever reason, I can see FOX shooting this idea down as fast as … well, something really fast. Like Bateman said, a movie like this doesn’t have mass appeal, so it needs something — a dynamite cast for example, and that’s exactly what the the “Arrested Development” movie would have if everyone came back. And to strengthen want Bateman said about cast’s commitment to the project, I found this video of Will Arnett pleading wit fans to bug FOX about the project:

It sounds like the crew is moving ahead with or without FOX. Well, that is, as far as they can get without the production company’s help. Hurwtiz and Co. have a tentative story arch (maybe even a full script) already, which can only help in the talks with FOX. Again from MTV:

“It’s typically bent and twisted,” Bateman said of the story concocted by series mastermind Mitchell Hurwitz. “He’s got a really, really good idea for the movie version that would not be just simply the equivalent of four episodes back to back to back. It’s actually something that would be specific to the medium of film.”

Two things: I’m glad to hear it’s going to be “bent and twisted,” because that means they’re keeping with the general idea that helped make the original show so unique. The only way I can really see this movie sucking is if they try to write a script that will appeal to a wider audience, thus forgetting the audience that even made the movie a possibility in the first place. Bent and twisted is good.

Secondly, I’m kind of nervous to hear the movie is “simply the equivalent of four episodes back to back to back.” If you’ve seen the direct-to-DVD “Futurama” movies, you know that they did essentially the same thing (but even more so, with the eventual plan to break them up and show them on Comedy Central.) The result has so far been two really choppy and ill-fitting movies with a couple more on the way. Although Bateman followed that statement with “t’s actually something that would be specific to the medium of film,” it’s a little weird that he would say the story was just four episodes put together. I don’t want what happened to “Futurama” to happen with “Arrested Development,” and I’m sure it won’t. Hurwitz is an incredibley gifted writer, and I know he’ll be able to pull out a dynamite script that flows as smoothly as it should.

Well, that’s as up-to-date as I can get you on the “Arrested Development” movie right now. Hopefully the project really is as inevitable as Bateman’s latest words make it sound. I’m a huge fan of the series (I once watched the entire first season in one sitting. I know that’s not something to be proud of, but I just could pry myself from the TV) and would absolutely love to revisit the Bluths. Let’s just keep hoping they get the ball rolling on this.


Entry filed under: Arrested Development, Television. Tags: , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Uncle T-bag  |  August 12, 2008 at 12:33 am

    uh, he said “He’s got a really, really good idea for the movie version that would not be just simply the equivalent of four episodes back to back to back.”



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