Not content with merely teasing fans with an Arrested Development movie, creator Mitchell Hurwitz has now upped the ante to a movie and a return to series television for the show, telling an audience at today’s New Yorker festival that a nine- or ten-episode “limited-run” fourth season of the show would help provide the prelude to the film that is still definitely happening, seriously. Adding further fuel to the flame, both Jason Bateman and Will Arnett later tweeted that both the movie and the next round of episodes would shoot next summer, probably seeing release sometime in 2013, while Bateman spoke for the rest of the assembled Arrested Development cast and crew in saying that “creatively we are all on board.” (As for supposed longtime holdout Michael Cera, Hurwitz explained that the whole ruse was just an idea for a “inside joke” he’d had based on Cera’s “Andy Kaufman thing.” You know, that Andy Kaufman thing that Michael Cera has.) Clearly, for a show that has inspired a religious faith in its Second Coming, this Sunday saw some especially impassioned preaching.
And now, the obligatory caveats: Hurwitz acknowledges that, while the creative side is cooperating 100 percent, the stumbling block, as always, comes down to money. “We don’t completely own the property, there are business people involved and studios and that kind of thing,” he said—as he's always said—adding that the expanded project “requires studios to work together that don’t typically work together, film and TV.” And of course, as of right now, there's neither a film studio nor a network attached to either project, meaning Hurwitz has essentially doubled down on his bet that someone cares enough about reviving Arrested Development for its cult fanbase. [UPDATE: On the TV front, at least, Deadline says there have been "talks" with both Showtime and Netflix about picking up the limited-run series.]
But that’s boring, pragmatic, cynical realist stuff! As a far more entertaining distraction, Hurwitz offered some tantalizingly specific details about the now much bigger project. As he explained, the new episodes would focus on a single character at a time, all in order to fill in the backstory on what’s happened to them since the last episode—and according to the New York Times, he’s even got the first episode mapped out:
The first episode, he said, could focus on Buster Bluth, the deeply neurotic brother played by Tony Hale. “The latest joke we have,” Mr. Hurwitz said, “is that it’s Cambridge, Mass., and there’s all these scientists in lab coats and they’re waiting for somebody. Buster comes through the door in a white lab coat — ‘Let’s begin’ — and they say, ‘Oh, no, you don’t get to wear the lab coat. We’re experimenting on you.’ ”
Why, it’s almost like you can see it in your head! (Which is still pretty much the only place you’re definitely going to, as of right now.) So in conclusion, don’t get your hopes up about an Arrested Development movie anymore. Get them up about an Arrested Development movie and a fourth season.