It’s time to grab a frozen banana and celebrate: there just might be an Arrested Development movie coming in 2009! No official deal has been announced yet, but Jason Bateman, star of the critically beloved short-lived sitcom, has been getting our hopes up while promoting Hancock over the past few weeks. And now Jeffrey Tambor, the patriarch of the Bluth family himself, has backed up his TV son’s claims.
Here are three reasons I’m excited for the Bluths’ big-screen debut:
1.) It hasn’t been that great a year for comedy.
I think Forgetting Sarah Marshall may have been the only movie that’s made me laugh in all of 2008 so far. The Arrested Development movie won’t hit theaters until 2009, but it will be all the more welcome after a year full of lowbrow sludge like The Love Guru and You Don’t Mess With the Zohan. Bateman has already promised that the subtle, rapid wit of the series will work even better on the big screen, because “...when it was on TV, you could miss one word and the whole third act could be blown for you. And TV is a different experience. You come home and you’ve got to finish a call so you miss the first ten minutes or you get snacky and you go to the fridge and you miss another two minutes, so it’s a different experience to film.” Basically, I think he’s saying that it’s going to be even funnier when you’re in a darkened theater with nothing to distract you from the brilliance on the screen, and he’s got a good point. Maybe more people would’ve caught on to the series in the first place if they’d been trapped in a dark room with these characters for two hours.
2.) Jason Bateman could finally become a movie star.
The man has been toiling away in Hollywood for most of his life, yet no one would call him a marquee star. Even his own TV son, Michael Cera, has eclipsed him in the fame department. Supporting roles in films like Juno have helped raised his profile, but his Golden Globe-winning performance as the straight man of TV’s wackiest family deserved to be appreciated by a much bigger audience. Bringing his best character to the big screen in a surefire critical hit just might show Hollywood that he can carry a movie on his shoulders, just like Michael Bluth carried his hilariously inept family.
3.) This could spawn a whole genre of brilliant-but-canceled TV show adaptations.
I know. This was supposed to happen a few years ago with Serenity, but the numbers weren’t quite there. But I don’t think I’m spreading false hope here. Considering the fact that AD was on the air for three seasons (as opposed to Firefly not quite airing a full one), won an Emmy, and has bigger stars in its cast, I think this movie will be a stronger candidate to make that genre happen. If AD is a box-office success, this time next year I could find myself writing about how excited I am for the Freaks and Geeks movie.
So next fall, when TV networks start canceling your favorite shows, don’t waste time with online petitions or mailing bags of nuts to creatively challenged executives. Just buy a ticket for the Arrested Development movie. You’ll be doing a good deed for comedy, and you might even get a few laughs out of it, too.