The internet is thrilled today with the announcement that Michael Cera has officially signed on to reprise his role as George Michael in the Arrested Development movie. And this is certainly good news in the sense that an Arrested Development movie WITHOUT Michael Cera would be bad idea jeans. No one wants to see Rory Culkin working the banana stand. No touching!
But just because Michael Cera has signed on to rejoin the cast doesn’t mean this movie is an automatic WIN. There are so many ways in which this thing could falter. Look, no one wants to have some wonderful Arrested Development laffs more than me. I’m just saying Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose, but with an emphasis on Clear Eyes. The script isn’t even written yet, you guys. Real Talk.
After the jump, 5 Reasons the Arrested Development movie might be bad.
5.Trying Too Hard
There is a sense in the Arrested Development fan community that somehow the show was cut tragically short. That may or may not be true, but the fact of the matter is that as far as television is concerned, it is over, like it or not. It would be a mistake to try and conclusively round out the series with a movie postscript. It will have to be its own thing. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have jokes and references that tie back to the show (duh), and lots of easter eggs for the superfans, but still. The war is lost. This is just a bonus battle.
4. Detracting From The Legacy
In a similar vein, there is the fear that if the movie is just good, or even really good, it will still detract from the impeccable legacy left by the epic series. That’s what happens to cult classics. Revisiting them takes some of the secret club shine. You’ll walk out of the theater feeling like the door has been closed in your face for a second time. “That’s it?” you will ask. “That’s what I’ve spent all this time hoping for?” To counteract that, the movie will have to be epic. A classic. I’m not saying it won’t be. I’m just saying the bar is very high now.
3. Relying Too Much On The Past
In countervalence to the Trying To Hard “Reason,” is the over-reliance on past success. If the movie becomes a ham-handed trip down memory lane, it will be a pandering success for low-ambition fans who want nothing more than to see those guys again. But in the long run it will be detrimental to Arrested Development. The movie will be a disappointment, the memories will be tarnished. The George Lucas Effect. It’s that fine line between needing to create something new while incorporating just enough of the classic to tie the thread.
2. A Rare Miss, Arrested Development
The good news is that we’re dealing with all the same people. The whole cast is on board. And Mitch Hurwitz, the show’s creator, is writing the script. But what if lightning doesn’t strike twice? This is the most pessimistic and admittedly unfounded of the “Reasons,” but it’s just possible that Team Magic will turn in bad product (for the first time). Whatever. No they won’t. Right? No they won’t. But they might. But they won’t. But they might.
1. Historical Precedent
The fact of the matter is that movies of TV shows are usually disappointing. They are two different mediums, with different narrative structures, and to condense something as sprawling and cumulative as Arrested Development into an hour and a half is wide open to failure. It happened to the X-Files, and it happened to The Simpsons, and it could easily happen here. (UPDATE: It also happened to Reno 911! and Strangers with Candy. Others?)
AGAIN, I want nothing more than for there to be a never ending series of incredible Arrested Development movies. Our generation’s Police Academy, but actually funny (although a cameo by Michael Winslow is not discouraged). I’m just saying, the road is long. The Arrested Development movie is basically on the Oregon Trail right now, and we need to remember that even if you don’t break a wagon axle, everyone could still die of Cholera.