“Arrested Development” star Jason Bateman is absolutely convinced the show’s new episodes coming to Netflix on May 26 won’t disappoint longtime fans.
“Maybe it’s arrogance on our part but (I think) it’s amazing what (creator Mitch Hurwitz) has done with these episodes and I think he’s going to be really applauded,” Bateman said in a recent interview.
“You know when you go to a concert to see a band and they play all the music different just because it’s live — and it’s annoying? We don’t do that, it’s going to feel every bit as familiar as the episodes on Fox, but on top of all of that, there’s this new fun element.”
That new twist is how the upcoming 15 episodes are structured, Bateman explained.
Hurwitz had envisioned producing a feature-film version of “Arrested Development” after it was yanked off the air in 2006 but found his story was just too long and convoluted to cram into a typical three-act movie structure.
So instead he partnered with Netflix to create a set of episodes that represent the first act of the story, which will ideally set things up for more “Arrested Development” content to come, whether it’s structured as a movie or more TV episodes.
In another unconventional twist, each of the show’s characters get to star in their own episode, which all follow the same rough timeline. There’s no right or wrong order to watch the episodes in and obsessive fans may want to re-watch them over and over again to pick up on new jokes they would only get after repeat viewings.
Bateman said he always knew the cast would reunite after the show was cancelled and is similarly confident that this is just the start of telling Hurwitz’s story.
“I knew how much all of us wanted to do it and as long as none of us were going to say, you know, ‘I want $20 million an episode,’ it was going to get done,” he said.
“Whether (the next part) becomes a movie-movie or another series of episodes or a long piece of programming on Netflix or any other of these different ways you can get content out to viewers, as long as there’s a willingness to be financially creative both in the production of it and in the compensation for it, I think anything (can happen).”