The New Yorker Festival’s hotly anticipated Arrested Development reunion was full of surprises. One in particular made the audience — and, shortly after, the entire Internet — blue themselves with excitement.
Before the audience emptied out of the festival’s venue in midtown Manhattan Sunday evening, Twitter was buzzing with the news. Series creator Mitch Hurwitz announced that, if the corporate powers that be align in just the right way, fans are in for a lot more of the Bluth family.
The plan, he said, is to create a limited-run TV series (about 9 or 10 episodes), that would then lead to a big-screen take on the series. Each episode of the TV series would update audiences on one key character, getting all the “where are they now” plot details out of the way before the movie hit theaters.
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If all goes well, series star Jason Bateman said, the scenes would be shot next summer. He later added on Twitter that they would air in 2013. But don’t preorder your tickets yet; Hurwitz emphasized this is just the creative plan, and it takes lots of studio maneuvering to get the funding and the creative rights in line.
Fans of the sitcom, which originally aired from 2003 to 2006, have been following stories about a potential movie since the show’s cancellation. Stories even surfaced that Michael Cera was the lone holdout; it turns out, Hurwitz said, that this was just a joke he cooked up that went too far. But this announcement was the first one that seemed remotely official — Hurwitz said he was “about 80% on the way” to a concrete answer and that he has been working on the screenplay.
The reunion, moderated by The New Yorker‘s television critic Nancy Franklin, was the first time the entire group (Hurwitz, Bateman, Cera, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Will Arnett, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale and Alia Shawkat), were in the same room since their series wrap party in 2005. Ron Howard even phoned in to the event, giving him an appropriate role as a “voice of God,” similar to his narration in the series.
The group reminisced about the show’s creative process and their favorite moments on the show, and the event wrapped up with a question and answer session with fans. One fan even brought the prosthetic hand Hale wore when he portrayed Buster; he said he purchased it for $350 at an auction. And at a fan’s request, the event ended with the group performing the show’s famed “chicken dance.” Don’t remember it? Here’s the YouTube clip.
Didn’t get a chance to see the event in person? Neither did most who were interested, since the event sold out almost instantly. Luckily, The New Yorker will post full video of the event on Monday on its Facebook page.