According to tweets coming out of the New Yorker Festival, show creator Mitch Hurwitz said that his plan for the Arrested Development movie would also include a short return to TV. Details are scarce at the moment — and, obviously, there's a big "May Never Happen" sign hanging above all of this — but the run would apparently be nine episodes long, with each episode focusing on a different character and what he or she's been doing the past five years. So, putting aside the likelihood of this happening for a moment, the question remains: is this even a good idea?
On the con side, this might just drag out a process that's already been dragged out for years. And if Hurwitz thinks even more back story is necessary for an Arrested Development movie to work, it may hinder the movie's chances even more. One of Arrested Development's most effective weapons was its ability to recall and reference jokes from episodes and even seasons previous; that's one of the reasons a movie always seemed less appealing than a move to Showtime during the show's final days. To add even more "required viewing" might not attract a huge audience, and studios will eventually care about the bottom line.
On the pro side, "Yes! More Arrested Development! More Arrested Development forever!" The show is truly meant for the medium of TV, and sneaking some more episodes in through the Trojan horse of a movie deal is an exciting prospect. And I for one have always been wary about the idea of an Arrested Development movie, because the series ended in a satisfying way — at least, as satisfying as it could have under the circumstances. What kind of story could a movie tell that felt like a continuation of the show? Giving us an update on TV first would bring us into a new Bluth-family story and give the movie some breathing room.
In the end, I'm split. From an artistic and storytelling point of view, the extra episodes are obviously a better choice; it almost seems like the only way a movie can work, now that the idea's in my head. But it's also clear that something like this would be a logistical nightmare for a show that was plagued and eventually taken down by such practical concerns. Then again, maybe there just won't be a movie at all! That is probably what will happen.