Arrested Development fans, take heart: the Bluth family's return to the small screen is imminent. The series is being reborn on Netflix in May with a 14-episode season, and creator Mitch Hurwitz and most of the stars, including Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, came to TCA to answer some questions about the show's long-awaited comeback. The Netflix run will be a little different than its previous, traditional seasons on Fox, so keep reading to find out what you should know about the new season of Arrested Development.
- The format is totally different from the original run. You may have already heard that each episode will focus on a different character, and Hurwitz said the decision was made to accommodate the actors' busy schedules. "The family grew apart," he said, "the only way we could get everyone together was to dedicate each episode to a different character's point of view." Bateman advised, "You should not compare [the Netflix episodes] to the series; this is something that is completely different on purpose," while Will Arnett agreed, saying "It's its own thing."
- All the episodes will be available at once. Netflix won't roll out each episode on a weekly basis; instead, they'll all become available on the same day (the premiere date in May hasn't been set). Though Hurwitz thinks it would be cool for people to be able to click around from different characters' episodes, there is still a sequence the writers have prescribed. "There is an order we put together to create the maximum amount of surprises," Hurwitz said. "If you watch in order, you'll understand more."
- There's a good reason for all the secretiveness. Hurwitz said they've been keeping plot details under wraps as a favor to fans. "We've all started really guarding the material, just to make it fun for the audience. We want to reward the fans for sticking with us."
- Michael Cera contributed to the writing. Cera said Hurwitz invited him into the writers' room to observe, and it was "at first, [just] a really fun invitation from Mitch," but then he started contributing. Hurwitz said that "suddenly, we were very dependent on Michael Cera being in the writers' room" because of how well he knows the show. Arrested Development "is like his first language," Hurwitz said.
- The movie plan is still in flux. Though all the actors seem excited about doing a movie ("I kind of always held out hope," Arnett admitted), there isn't a concrete plan yet. Still, Hurwitz seems optimistic about it, saying that "maybe the movie will end up [on Netflix] too." Bateman was also very supportive of Hurwitz's ability to find more Bluth material for a film. "If there's a movie, I know he's got great ideas for it."
Photo courtesy of Netflix