The cult classic television comedy about the travails of the rich, zany Bluth family, cancelled in 2006 after three seasons, will produce nine to ten new episodes and a movie, it was announced at The New Yorker Festival on Sunday.
Since debuting on November 2, 2003, the series earned six Emmy awards, one Golden Globe, widespread critical acclaim and attracted a cult following, including several fan-based websites, and in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.”
“We don’t completely own the property, there are business people involved and studios and that kind of thing,” creator Mitch Hurwitz said on Sunday.
“Just creatively, I have been working on the screenplay for a long time and found that as time went by, there was so much more to the story. In fact, where everyone’s been for five years became a big part of the story.”
“So in working on the screenplay, I found even if I just gave five minutes per character to that back story, we were halfway through the movie before the characters got together,” he said.
In February, Hurwitz said that the process was underway, but couldn’t say more. “I don’t like to toy with the affections of our fans,” he said.
“They’ve been so supportive and we’re so grateful, so I kind of hate to answer the question until I can say, ‘Yep, we’ve shot it, it opens next week’. Otherwise it feels like we’re toying with people and we do not mean to do that. It has just taken a while to get it going.”
Shortly after the The New Yorker panel leading actor Jason Bateman tweeted: “It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!”
Since its cancellation, the show has earned a fervent fan base, with constant speculation as to when — or whether — the show would be adapted into a movie.
The cast, led by Bateman and Will Arnett, has frequently promised that a movie would be coming, though until now they’ve been unable to offer any specifics. As it turns out, that can be attributed to the difficulties of intellectual properties and broadcast rights.
Despite the approval from critics, Arrested Development never climbed in the ratings. Fox aired the final four episodes of the third season in a block as a two-hour series finale on February 10, 2006, opposite the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics (which was being broadcast on NBC).