There was a while back there when rumors of an “Arrested Development” movie were numerous, but mostly added up to much ado about nothing. Every detail that emerged from the mouths of cast members sounded like wishful thinking — a lot of talk about the script being written by ‘AD’ creator Mitchell Hurtwitz, but no discussion about shooting, releasing, directing or any concrete plans for the production of the movie. Hurwitz continued to focus on television for the most part but both “Sit Down, Shut Up” and “Running Wilde” were canceled by Fox, freeing up his time. And while all cast members have gone on to success after the show’s three seasons, none have threatened to go supernova, leaving them in the realm of possibility to return. It seems clear: destiny wants this film to happen.
Through it all, cast members have talked about the “idea” of the film without ever mentioning what it would actually be. It looks like one of them caved, as ScreenRant has some info that apparently comes from a source who has spoken to someone from the extensive ensemble. Leaking details that the site claims will be made public within the next few weeks, the scoop reveals: “Ron Howard is making a movie about the Bluths using an A-List cast. But Dr. Tobias plays himself because nobody wants to play him in the movie. The Bluths decide to make their own movie in contention with Ron Howard’s.”
Part of the show’s charm was the humor’s easy transition into meta-territory, so it makes sense the this aspect would be translated to the big screen with the Bluths taking aim at Hollywood. This also gives Fox an excuse to bankroll the film, as a family of alterna-Bluths would give the chance to a number of big names to show off their comedic chops. And it also follows through on the series’ final punchline of Maeby failing to pitch the story of her family to Howard as a television series, with him suggesting the Bluths belong on the big screen.
We’ll have to wait for the next few weeks to see if this isn’t B.S. In the meantime, when could this be made? Jason Bateman just set up a movie to shoot next spring but seems to be quite available between now and then; Will Arnett leads the new NBC series “Up All Night” so his schedule might be a bit busier, but workable; Michael Cera has a couple of projects in the works but nothing solidified; David Cross also seems to have a clear calendar as does Tony Hale; while Jeffrey Tambor is currently shooting the David Mamet-helmed Phil Spector biopic. The rest of the cast — Alia Shawkat, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Walter, etc — are all around as well making a late 2011/early 2012 shoot viable. The only question mark is Ron Howard who is gearing up to shoot “Rush” at the end of the year, but this onscreen role as himself is likely small enough that production won’t be affected by his schedule. So, after years of rumors could this actually be close to happening? We’ll soon see.