I’ll Believe It When I See It: ‘Arrested Development’ Fourth Season and Movie Confirmed?

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UPDATE: Deadline.com’s Nellie Andreeva brings some information that makes this all sound a little more likely with the following news:

I have learned that 20th Century Fox TV, which co-produced Arrested Development with Imagine TV, has had talks with Netflix, which has been on the hunt for original programming, and Showtime, whose new entertainment president David Nevins shepherded Arrested Development when he ran Imagine TV.

My previous post follows:

So the word around the online campfire right now is that series co-creator Mitch Hurwitz is hoping Fox will bring back their cancelled television series “Arrested Development” for a 10 episode fourth season before they shuffle off and have Universal release a film adaptation. There have been rumors of a movie ever since the show went off the air back in 2006 and this is as close to the film becoming a reality we’ve seen yet.

This latest rash of buzz began at the New Yorker festival where Hurwitz announced his plans for a fourth season of 9-10 “where are they now?” episodes before filming a feature film. Of course, this comes as an announcement from Hurwitz, not an actual announcement from the studio, though series star Jason Bateman has taken to Twitter along with co-star Will Arnett to add “urine” to the fire.

Arnett posted on Twitter: “I’m peeing with [Jason Bateman] at the moment..and we can confirm that we are going to make new [“Arrested Development” episodes] and a movie.”

Bateman followed that up posting on Twitter: “It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”

The Film Stage was in attendance for the announcement and writes:

[Hurwitz] is halfway through the film script with co-writers Jim Vallely and Dean Lorey. As for the series, each episode will focus on a specific character and what they have been doing the last five years, but will include crossovers with other characters. He gave the example that Buster (Tony Hale) would go to therapy and his therapist (or should I say analrapist?) would be Tobias Funke (David Cross). The series would lead up to a point where the film begins on all our major characters converging.

Personally, I’m still not convinced and won’t be until they actually start filming. I’m not even sure an announced release date would convince me. I can imagine the entire “Arrested Development” group just sitting back and watching the Internet light up at the news of a movie based on a show that no one actually watched to the point it was cancelled. Seriously, I don’t see how they can do this unless everyone is going to work for peanuts.

The Film Stage also quotes Hurwitz who even says as much saying it’s not a done deal, the studios haven’t been figured out and he doesn’t own “the property outright and ‘there is still lots of business to do’ and the logistics of having a studio working on a film and TV series simultaneously is difficult.” Yeah it is, especially considering Fox (who would presumably air the shortened TV season) cancelled the series due to low ratings and Universal (who would presumably release the film) already lost out on resurrecting a cancelled television show in bringing “Firefly” to the big screen as Serenity. Why would an “Arrested Development” film be any different?

Where is the audience? If they shoot next year for a 2013 release for the show and movie we’re talking about a show returning after a seven year absence after being cancelled. Is that how good business works? I would love to see it happen because it’s a TERRIFIC show, but I just don’t see a studio taking the risk.

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Weekend: Aug. 29, 2019, Sep. 1, 2019

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