With ‘Arrested’ Movie On, Arnett Asks: ‘Have You Seen My Puppet?’

It was barely eight weeks ago that Jason Bateman broke the big news to us: Plans for an “Arrested Development” movie were gaining steam, and the Bluth family hoped to begin cornballing soon after the resolution of the strike.

Now, his older brother G.O.B. is breathing a sigh of relief since Hollywood is going back to work — and he’s eager to once again make magic. “Yeah, we’ve talked about it. We are currently talking about it. But not now, because you and I are talking! And that’d be ridiculous,” grinned “AD” smartass Will Arnett. “But no, we are talking about making the movie.”

The beloved show was unique not only because it was so funny, but in that all the cast members genuinely liked each other. So all indications are that the entire team — from Bateman and Arnett to Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor and Michael Cera — would return for series mastermind Mitchell Hurwitz.

The whereabouts of one key cast member, however, remain uncertain. I’m speaking, of course, about G.O.B.’s politically incorrect puppet, Franklin Delano Bluth.

“[His participation] is going to come down to Franklin’s agents, obviously; everybody’s got a price,” Arnett said with an unshakably straight face. “Is Franklin still alive? I don’t even remember what happened to him.”

After the show’s 2006 cancellation, Fox used an eBay account to auction off such memorable “AD” items as Buster’s prosthetic hand, G.O.B.’s Segway and Lucille’s dining room set. While no one seems to know whether Franklin himself was sold, his Adidas sneakers ($45), overalls ($27), shirt ($152) and Franklin Comes Alive album ($326) are long gone.

So, before the movie starts filming, Arnett hopes someone will help him locate his naked, tuneless puppet.

“He did get sold, didn’t he?” Arnett said, speculating that Franklin may have fallen victim to the show’s liquidation. “Did somebody sell him for real? That makes sense.”

“Well, I built the first one, so I’m going to have to build it again. That’s a little ‘Arrested Development’ piece of trivia,” Arnett revealed. “I made Franklin.”

Really? “No, that’s a lie,” he grinned. “How would I know how to do that?”

One thing that isn’t a lie, however, is that Arnett, Bateman and the others are now waiting for Hurwitz to write the script that will bring the Bluths to the big screen — even if it requires a CGI Franklin stand-in. “I think that we’re still a long way from the cup to the lip on this one,” he said of the “AD” flick. “But I think it’ll happen.”