After years of loose talks with no results, Arrested Development, the cult classic series and Fox comedy casualty will finally be revived as a limited run TV series, leading into the long-discussed movie project.
At an impressive gathering of the entire cast at the New Yorker Festival on Sunday, creator Mitchell Hurwitz would confirm the resurrection of the ongoing eccentric, farcical saga of the Bluth family. -- Although, not in a conventional form. This time, the series will be brought back for a nine or ten episode limited run which will see light of day on Showtime and Netflix.
Hurwitz claims to be about halfway through the scriptwriting process for the movie, which will apparently start shooting next summer. Since much have the cast have pretty hectic schedules, that summer shoot is likely set in stone.
So, what's in store for the Bluths?
According to Hurwitz, each of the TV revival episodes will focus on a specific character, updating us on what they've been up to since we last left them back in 2006. The creator actually goes into specific examples of how each episode will be approached.
“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."
Essentially, eliminating the need for the entire cast to be present for each episode becomes a smart way to deal with the logistics of corralling all of the actors into this show on such short notice. Hurwitz describes kind of a crossover atmosphere in which each character's stories all meet at certain points in a Venn Diagram-like way. In a sense, it's similar the flashbacks on Lost, except with more jokes about incest and douchebaggery injected into the fray.
The TV series is thus a prequel to the "real" project, the movie. And Hurwitz already has that process well in hand. As he continues:
"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 [Tobias'] 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[sic] 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."
The release strategy is in some ways similar to that of the cancelled TV series/movie projects for Stephen King's The Dark Tower books. Although, what Arrested Development has going for it, is a less costly comedy, and a cast that do appear loyal and enthusiastic to make it happen.
Well, years of fan demand have finally come true. Have any thoughts on how this revival will play out?