Exclusive: Oh, “Party Down.” Yet another brilliant comedy that shone for a brief moment before getting canceled; ever since going off the air the witty, hilarious sitcom has slowly gained a new audience who are now just catching up with it on DVD. Created and written by John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge and Paul Rudd, “Party Down” featured an amazing ensemble cast of Adam Scott, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Coolidge, Megan Mullally, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr and Lizzy Caplan, and chronicled the travails of an L.A. based catering company made up of actors and writers hoping to make it big, including one who already had a brief taste of the spotlight. The clever concept found the characters catering a different party each episode while the scripts slowly developed the arcs over the course of a season. It was definitely one of the best written shows on television at the time but alas, the ratings were poor and eventually the folks over at Starz gave it the axe.
However, according to Lizzy Caplan, hope is still alive for the crew to come back in a movie. And while this writer laid out a case for why it will never happen, we recently chatted with Caplan — who is doing the rounds for her next effort, the upcoming improv comedy “High Road” directed by Matt Walsh — and she told us that while she has some slight regrets about talking up the possibility of a movie, she still strongly believes it can happen.
“I feel like kind of an a-hole turning it into [a story],” she admitted. “I have a lot of faith, all of us have a lot of faith. I do not think it’s a ‘don’t hold your breath’ situation but until there’s something more concrete happening, maybe hold your breath a little bit. It’s not for lack of interest on the parts of the cast and the creators of the show. If there’s any way we can do it, then we will do it, and we are definitely on top of that idea.”
But as anyone who has followed the prolonged saga of the gestating “Arrested Development” movie knows, this kind of talk can eventually lead to fatigue and skepticism that it will even happen at all. And while Caplan acknowledges most folks won’t believe it until they see it, she thinks a “Party Down” movie will be easier to get rolling if only because the logistics are a bit simpler.
“That’s why I feel a little embarrassed bringing it up even though I don’t think that it’s this crazy long shot at all,” she told us. “I think that it would probably be easier to make a ‘Party Down’ movie than an ‘Arrested Development’ movie because it’s just smaller and there’s less red tape to cut through. It’s not owned by some massive network that probably wants to weigh in a lot. We have a bit more freedom. But also the ‘Arrested Development’ movie would be a much bigger budgeted deal.”
“I do think it would be easier to get to that position [of making a movie] working with a network like Starz over Fox,” she added.
And we have to admit, she makes a strong point. Reading any interviews with the creators and cast of the show, there is a palpable sense that “Party Down” was a project close to the hearts of everyone involved. And as Caplan mentioned, unlike the huge roster of players on “Arrested Development,” the key talent for “Party Down” is not only much smaller, but given the spirit in which it was created, probably much more amenable to coming in just to be able to work together again. Of course, this is probably not the last we’ll hear of this one and we’ll have to see how it all plays out but another outing with the catering crew of Party Down — we’re warming to the idea…
“High Road” premieres this Friday, April 29th at the Newport Beach Film Festival.