How The Arrested Development Movie Could Make History

By Katey Rich 2012-09-06 16:56:57discussion comments
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Here's the bad news: the Arrested Development movie, even after all the hemming and hawing and promises and hope and dreams and money in the banana stand, is still not a guarantee. Even with the entire cast back together in Southern California and shooting new episodes that will air on Netflix, even with Gob back on his Segway and Tobias back in the jean cutoffs, we have no idea if the 10-to-13 new episodes will actually lead to the movie we've been promised for years.

Yeah, I know, it's a shame, especially after the euphoria of the set photos that proved it wasn't all just a fantasy. But you should also know that creator Mitch Hurwitz still has hope for the movie, and you should too. In an interview with Vulture, mostly about the TV episodes they're currently shooting for Netflix, Hurwitz confirmed what we've thought was the plan all along: the 10, or possibly 13, episodes of the show for Netflix would be the setup for the potential movie. And it's the movie they're all still eager to make:

The episodes are an outgrowth of the design of what we hope will be the movie. They precede it. They function as an act one of a movie that we all want to do, but haven't "sold" yet. The episodes take the audience through the experiences of the characters since the family "fell apart" and how they're brought together to deal with their new problems. I would give you a hint as to what those problems are, but, really, why rob the fans of being disappointed when they see it on Netflix.

In the official announcement that Netflix would air the new Arrested Development movie, they made no mention of movie rights, and Netflix has yet to venture into feature film production. And since the Netflix deal came through, neither Hurwitz or Ron Howard or anyone else associated with the production has talked about the nitty gritty of production, whether 20th Century Fox would try to get behind the movie that they first aired on TV, or whether they would be producing the movie independently (Ron Howard probably has the cash to do it).

But what I"m rooting for is for the Arrested Development movie to become the first feature film that Netflix ever produces on its own. When the new episodes air early next year, keep a close eye on how successful they become for the company-- they've just started moving into TV production, and feature films might be the next obvious step. After all, HBO has produced its own feature films for years, and it started off essentially like Netflix, a paid subscription that gave you access to movies that other people had already made. The ways that we watch movies and TV shows are changing rapidly, and Arrested Development was an example of one of those big changes, when people discovered the show on DVD and made it a much bigger hit than it had been on the air. If Arrested then breaks new ground in how movies are made, it somehow wouldn't surprise me at all.
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