Netflix is bringing back Arrested Development for a season 5 and Jason Bateman has officially closed a deal to star as Michael Bluthe once more. Arrested Development originally aired on Fox from 2003 to 2006 before getting canceled after winning Emmy and Golden Globe awards and gaining a cult audience. Netflix revived the show in 2013 for a 4th season and 15 episodes, but it's been relatively quiet on any official news of a 5th season until now.
Bateman tweeted late Friday afternoon that he had officially signed a deal to return to Arrested Development. Read his announcement below.
"Look very probable I'm going to put some miles on the Stair Car this summer. Just officially signed on to more ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT today."
It appears that we are now closer than ever to finally seeing a season 5 of Arrested Development. According to Variety, Twentieth Century Fox Television declined to comment on the announcement and attempts to reach representatives of Bateman and Netflix have not been returned. But from Jason Bateman's own admission, it sounds like new episodes begin shooting this summer, which could be anytime now.
This is big news for Arrested Development fans. Ron Howard, who narrates the show has said that they've been working on season 5 as far back as 2015. Stars of the show have always said that they're doing a season 5, but were not sure when. Alia Shawkat who portrays Maeby Fünke has recently said that she hopes that the cast "keeps making the show for the rest of their lives." Jeffrey Tambor, George Bluthe Sr. has also said publicly that "they're always coming back." Will Arnette, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Portia de Rossi have all expressed the desire to return as the cast seems like a close family. Echoing that sentiment is David Cross who plays Tobias Fünke. Cross has said that he'd love to do another season, but he'd like to perform alongside his fellow cast mates in a traditional manner.
Season 4 of Arrested Development focused on one character per episode of the season's 15 episodes, rarely having two main characters in the same scene. This was due to heavy workloads from all of the actors who still wanted to be part of the show in any way possible, much like Netflix's revival of Wet Hot American Summer. The actors worked separately and were sometimes digitally added into the scene later, which lead to a disjointed feeling and a lukewarm reaction from diehard fans and some critics. Nonetheless, the show earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
There is still no official word of Arrested Development season 5 happening any time soon, but we are at least one step closer with Bateman announcing his return. It's also encouraging to see such a big cast want to get back together and have another go at the beloved cult series. Let's just hope that they can all get in the same room again to regain the amazing chemistry that they all share. If Bateman's announcement is true, production could begin as early as this summer.