Heralding the announcement that the new season of Arrested Development will premiere on Netflix in May, the cast of the cult comedy reunited on Wednesday during the Television Critics Association winter press tour and discussed the future of the resurrected franchise.
Joining series creator and executive producer Mitch Hurwitz onstage in Pasadena, California, were Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Portia de Rossi, Tony Hale, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jessica Walter, all clearly thrilled to be working together again. They clarified the format of the upcoming fourth season, even going so far as to note that it wasn't a Season 4 in the traditional sense, and explained that the idea of focusing on an individual character each episode was born of necessity. "Our family had drifted apart," Hurwitz said, referring to the busy schedules of the cast members. "The only way we could get together was to dedicate each episode to a different character's point of view. That became really fun because we'd find that some of the stories intersect. It's kind of an evolution of the storytelling that was necessary."
Adding his own disclaimer, Bateman stated, "It is not 'season four'; we should probably make that clear. Everybody sort of intermingles through each person's individual episode, but it is a 'Lindsay' episode or a 'Gob' episode that we guest star in." Now a star of feature films with his own production company, Bateman remains dedicated to the idea of translating the television series to the big screen in a movie adaptation once the new season finishes. "This is the first act of what we would like to complete in a movie," he said. "These are episodes that set that up. One does not work without the other." He quickly acknowledged, "This will, however, provide a satisfying conclusion if for some unfortunate reason the movie doesn't happen."
Currently, the show is heading into postproduction and Hurwitz admitted that editing may not be an easy task. Aping the cable comedy model, Hurwitz plans for each of the new 14 episodes to clock in at a full 30 minutes and held any plot details close to the vest. "One of the challenges of the show was to always be surprising," he said. "That was easy to do when no one was watching. We're really guarding the material to surprise the audience."
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