Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Second guessing the prospect of an Arrested Development movie

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So I interviewed the adorably awkward and awkwardly adorable Michael Cera (and the lovely Portia Doubleday) at a hotel in Chicago yesterday in connection with Youth In Revolt. Sometimes when I interview famous people in person I'm struck by curious notions. Yesterday, for example, I found myself wondering if I could pummel Cera with my fists and/or pick him up and twirl him around WWF style. I don't think Cera's slight frame could handle two hundred pounds and six feet, two inches of neurotic Hebraic fury. They don't call me the Bear Jew for nothing. Or the Bear Jew at all.


More importantly, I asked Cera about the status of the long-fabled Arrested Development movie. Cera has emerged as the unlikely villain of the endlessly protracted Arrested Development movie saga as the supposed lone holdout in a cast otherwise chomping at the bit to resurrect the most beloved characters in the history of the universe.

"Why do you hate Arrested Development fans? Why do you want to deprive them of the joy a movie would engender?" I believe were my exact words. Quaking with sincerity, Cera responded that he didn't hate Arrested Development fans. The script was still in the outline stages, so Cera's hesitance to return to the role that made his career was far from the only impediment to an Arrested Development movie hitting theaters. 

Cera was open to reprising his Arrested Development role; he just wanted to make sure that a film would do justice to the show's legacy, that it would add rather than detract from the mythology surrounding one of the most beloved comedies of the last twenty years. 

As an Arrested Development fan I'd always just assumed that a film adaptation would be awesome. Arrested Development was taken from its adoring super-fans too soon; therefore we felt the universe owed us a movie. We weren't ready to say goodbye to the Bluths just yet. But interviewing Cera I found myself wondering, for the first time, if maybe an Arrested Development movie wasn't a good idea. 

My faith in Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz was more than a little shaken by Sit Down, Shut Up, the disastrous animated ensemble comedy that reunited Hurwitz with Arrested Development alum Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Henry Winkler. As I watched the first episode I found my estimation of it sinking by the minute, from, "This isn't as good as I'd hoped" to "This is isn't actually that good" to "This is actually kind of bad." 

I was psyched about the prospect of Futurama returning from the grave for a slate of direct-to-DVD movies. Though the Futurama films were far from an embarrassment, they didn't add much to the show's legacy. Some were stronger than others but on the whole they felt achingly inessential, as did the Strangers With Candy movie. 

So I now view the prospect of The Bluths hitting the big screen less with drooling fanboy enthusiasm than my usual cautious optimism.