Arrested Development Season 5 has been percolating at Netflix for years, and it sounds like there may be some big changes on board for the show when it finally hits the streaming service. There is now word that the fifth season of the popular comedy will actually be part prequel and feature younger versions of the show's crazy cast of characters. Those versions of the characters will be so young, in fact, that the show will need to cast different actors to play those familiar parts. Whaaaat?
This would be a huge change for Arrested Development, which is known as much for its zany storylines as it is for its wacky characters and the actors who've brought them to life. The report, from TVLine, says that up to at least half of the new season would feature this prequel element, meaning that stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Alia Shawkat, Tony Hale, David Cross and Will Arnett will have much less to do when filming on Season 5 rolls around.
Arrested Development, which focuses on the hugely dysfunctional Bluth family and their (mostly failed) professional and personal endeavors, ran for three seasons on Fox, from 2003-2006. After years of the show's diehard fanbase begging for more, Netflix brought the series back for Season 4 in 2013, but we've been waiting since then for Season 5 to finally get off the ground. While it would be a giant shock for a popular show to feature a storyline that would require producers to recast every major role on the show, it would solve a big problem that the production seems to be having.
Part of the reason it's taken so long for Season 5 to get going is that, unlike with many TV shows once they go off the air, the whole cast is still working regularly. This, of course, means that scheduling issues have been a huge hurdle for Arrested Development to clear as far as getting everyone together again to film the show. Even though fans were dying for Season 4, when they finally saw it and realized that many of the episodes would focus only on one character, instead of the whole-family-in-the-pool storytelling of the previous seasons, many people were seriously underwhelmed by what they got. Having flashbacks with new actors taking on the iconic Bluth family roles would be another way to cure the scheduling problems, without using a solution that had already annoyed fans.
This new report makes it clear, though, that none of this is set in stone for Season 5, and I have to say, I'm glad of that. While I totally get the desire to get this Arrested Development train moving again, that show is so defined by those specific actors embodying those characters that it's really hard for me to imagine anyone else playing them for any serious length of time. All we can hope for is that if the show does decide to go the flashback route, they will search high and low for the perfect younger versions of all the characters.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend, and we'll keep you up to date on Arrested Development news as it becomes available.