This is the story of the man who reunited the cast of Arrested Development to tell a new tale about that wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.
AD creator Mitch Hurwitz was joined by his cast (Jason Bateman, Portia di Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor and Alia Shawkat) today at The Television Critics Association Tour in Pasadena, CA to preview the new episodes (14 in total) coming our way this May.
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Earlier this week, Hurwitz revealed that each episode would focus on a single character, although Michael Bluth will appear in all, and chart their journey following the series finale. "Each individual (episode) kind of depicts what happens in 2006 as the Bluths fled from the law on the Queen Mary" he told USA Today, adding that the episode explains what has happened to them since and leaves them in the present day, he says.
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"It is a very different form that emerged really organically," Hurwitz said at TCA. "It really followed the function of the fact that the family grew apart and the only way we could get [the actors] together was to kind of dedicate each episode to a different character's point of view. That became an interesting, fun and engaging challenge."
That means every installment will repeat scenes from past episodes, but reveal new information given another character's perspective. "Originally, we wanted to be able to jump from one story to another, almost a choose your own adventure thing," Hurwitz said. "One giant 700 minute Arrested Development."
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Although Bateman cautions against using certain verbiage -- ie: "season four" -- to describe these new offerings. "This is simply the first act in what we hope to continue and complete in a movie. These are episodes that set that up. One does not work without another." He adds, "It's certainly a satisfying conclusion to these episodes should the movie not happen, but it's part of a hybrid-package of Arrested Development stuff."
With all the episodes hitting Netflix on the same day, Hurwitz says the episodes can be viewed in any order, but adds, "there is an order that we put together to create the greatest number of surprises."
Us in the room were gifted with glimpses at the new episodes. We saw Gob on a cross, George Sr. being strangled, George Michael telling Gob "You stole my girlfriend," Tobias with a towel turban and Lindsay back on her charity kick. We were then treated to a deleted scene, featuring Lucille (who is banned from smoking in the house) blowing her cigarette smoke into Buster's mouth who then blows the smoke outside. It went on for a painfully hilarious amount of time, and reinforces that the Arrested Development footage being left on the cutting room floor is funnier than half of what is on TV right now!
Arrested Development will premiere this May on Netflix.