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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

'Arrested Development' script in works

Mitchell Hurwitz, James Vallely penning film adaptation

By Jay A. Fernandez and Lesley Goldberg

Narrator: Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything ... and just may get some of it back.

"Arrested Development" creator Mitchell Hurwitz and his co-executive producer James Vallely are working on a screenplay for the long-debated feature version of their short-lived Fox series. Even as they prep a new Fox comedy series with "Arrested" star Will Arnett, the writers are spinning more bizarre encounters for the eccentric, spoiled Bluth clan for possible feature production in the spring.

Imagine, which produced the TV show, and Fox Searchlight are producing the film.

Hurwitz had said that he wouldn't start writing a film unless all the main actors, including Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, David Cross, Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Portia de Rossi and Jeffrey Tambor, were committed. Earlier in the year, speculation circulated about which wanted to return as the show's hyper-invested fans pushed from the sidelines and the actors themselves spurred excitement.

Hurwitz and Vallely are now forging ahead. Scheduling might be difficult, however, as several -- Bateman, Cera and Arnett -- have seen their careers bloom in TV and film since the series debuted in 2003.

Director Ron Howard, who executive produced the series and provided the voice of the narrator, played himself in the final episode hearing a pitch of the Bluth story and suggesting it for a movie. Hurwitz, however, will direct the feature.

Hurwitz, who is repped by WME, and Vallely, who is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners, won Emmys for their writing on "Arrested." They work together on the animated Fox comedy "Sit Down, Shut Up."