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Arrested Development Creator Announces New Shows Ahead of the Movie, All of Which Are Definitely Happening

Officially Official

We would never lie to you about this: Late yesterday, news broke that Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz was shopping around an abbreviated series of the show — nine or ten new episodes — that will air on either Showtime or Netflix. Yes, you heard that correctly: Netflix. And also, new episodes of Arrested Development. And yes, the movie is still happening.

Hurwitz appeared at the New Yorker Festival yesterday with the entire cast of Arrested Development and announced that he was about “halfway through” writing the screenplay when he realized there was much more story to tell about the Bluth family:

“I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by there was so much more to the story … 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.”

And then that happened. Something truly out of the box: a new, limited series of a beloved but canceled TV show, spotlighting each of the characters of whom we never saw quite enough. And then a movie! This is so exciting to report, especially when you remember how the movie was happening one minute, then not happening the next, then everyone was showing up on a podcast saying, “No, really, it’s really happening.” And now, it’s not only happening, but it’s coming back to television.

Not exactly conventional television, though. While one channel interested in airing the new AD series is Showtime — which almost picked up the show in 2006 when it faced cancellation — the other one is Netflix, which, as we all know, is not actually a channel. It’s a video-on-demand service. It’s an incredibly interesting move if it does happen, now that Netflix is actually producing its own original series with Kevin Spacey and David Fincher. To add a culty fan favorite to this mix is making Netflix look like TV’s more awesome cousin (albeit a cousin who costs a little extra money to take out to dinner). But the very idea of AD providing Netflix’s next round of original content is going to be a very tempting one for the company recently prone to bad PR.

Hurwitz is just bursting with ideas for the series and the movie, and he gave us all a peek into what he might have planned:

“… 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 … 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.”

There is a possibility that this series could begin airing next fall, and the entire cast — Jason Bateman, Portia De Rossi, Michael Cera, David Cross, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, and Alia Shawkat –have said they will move around their schedules to accommodate shooting.

This is the most insane announcement ever made in relation to this show, in the most wonderful way ever.

(via Entertainment Weekly)

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