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Is This Real Life? Meta-Dream Casting Arrested Development: The Movie in "Arrested Development"

By Rob Payne | Lists | July 16, 2013 |

By Rob Payne | Lists | July 16, 2013 |

This Spring, after years of pining and hoping and incessant interview questions of its cast and crew, the much-beloved but little-watched “Arrested Development” TV show returned with a new season to entertain many of its fans (and befuddle many more). Naturally, almost as soon as the Internet watched all of the Netflix produced season 4, speculation about a possible season 5 had already commenced — not to mention speculation about what the latest season meant, or how it all added up. History often repeats, so it isn’t surprising that, of course, everyone involved in AD absolutely wants to make more… but it’s really up to the actors’ schedules to make it happen. And, thus, we are convicted to spend another half-decade or so wondering when the continuation, or culmination, of the Bluth clan’s epic fail will actually, if ever, happen.

Unlike last time out, though, creator and showrunner Mitch Hurwitz (along with his writer’s room) crafted a sort of non-ending to season 4 that allows those watching at home to better envision where the story could go next. After season 3 concluded with a fairly decent series capper that reversed almost everything from season 1’s pilot episode, too many balls were up in the air to get a sense of how the Bluths could reconnect to continue their tragicomic story. But season 4’s ending isn’t even really that, it’s just a stopping point in this chapter of that ongoing story, so it seems relatively easy to bet that season 5 would have to deal with the emotional fall-out between Michael and George Michael, Lindsay’s political contest against Sally Sitwell, GOB’s burgeoning life as a gay magician, Buster’s unlikely involvement in Lucille 2’s disappearance, whatever George Sr. and Lucille 1 were doing with that wall on the U.S./Mexico border, and, finally, the movie adaptation of their lives that Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are determined to finally bring to the silver screen.

It’s that last bit that concerns us here. It would be all too easy to go the Nightmare Casting route I did with “Firefly” last year, a joke that “Arrested Development” is too good to make. Plus, why would Howard and Grazer, two perennial Oscar contenders, make a hackjob with Charlie Sheen starring as GOB? No, in the show, at least, they are Hollywood players who want taller offices than Michael Bay’s next door, and the best way they can ensure that is an awards season darling. And, thus, season 5 on Netflix (or elsewhere) should be littered with A-list cameos, huge stars popping up in the background of random episodes, in character as the metatextually dramatized Bluth family. Without further ado, here are the heavy hitters I’d like to see — especially if season 5 never happens because the cast can’t get their ducks in a row and a “real” movie were to be made in their place. Enjoy!

Arrested Development: Maybe as a Movie?
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Ewan McGregor as Michael Bluth*

Naomi Watts as Lindsay Bluth Funke

Liev Schreiber as GOB

Kodi Smit-McPhee as George Michael Bluth

Maisie Williams as Maeby Funke

Joaquin Phoenix as Byron “Buster” Bluth

Paul Giamatti as Tobias Funke

Jack Nicholson as George Bluth

Helen Mirren as Lucille Bluth

Dustin Hoffman as Barry Zuckerkorn

Meryl Streep as Lucille 2 (Austero)

Cate Blanchett as Sally Sitwell

Daniel Day-Lewis as Stan Sitwell

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Gene Parmesan

Idris Elba as Ice the Bounty Hunter

Diane Lane as Maggie Lizer

Elle Fanning as Ann Veal

RJ Mitte as Steve HOLT

Michelle Williams as Kitty Sanchez

Jack Nicholson as Oscar Bluth

and… Denzel Washington as Carl Weathers

Here’s the one-sheet mock-up, just in time for awards season:

* Apropos of nothing, did you know that if you transpose Ewan McGregor over Justin Bateman you then get John Barrowman?

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He would absolutely go see this movie.