Season Five of Arrested Development will be released on Netflix in 2018. The entire original cast has been confirmed to return and will appear collectively together more frequently than in the previous season to solve the murder of Lucille 2.
Mitch Hurwitz: In talks with Netflix we all felt that stories about a narcissistic, erratically behaving family in the building business — and their desperate abuses of power — are really underrepresented on TV these days. I am so grateful to them and to 20th TV for making this dream of mine come true in bringing the Bluths, George Sr., Lucille and the kids; Michael, Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, George-Michael, and who am I forgetting, oh Tiffany. Did I say Tiffany? — back to the glorious stream of life.Netflix Press Releases
Ted Sarandos: Arrested Development brings us structures, outerwear and choreography like no other comedy in history. Season Four marked the first foray by Netflix into original comedy programming and this time, the Bluths will collectively be spending more quality time with their millions of fans around the world.Netflix Press Releases
Ron Howard: Whew! I can finally answer the question… Hell yes! Warming up my uncredited narrator vocal chords. Now the only thing I will have to be coy about is all the craziness the Bluths are going to face this season.Netflix Press Releases
- See also: Season Five/History
The final episode of Season Three, "Development Arrested," featured Maeby and Mort Meyers pitching a TV show about the Bluth family to Ron Howard, who said "maybe a movie." Since that episode aired in February 2006 the cast and crew dropped hints about a film epilogue. At the 2011 New Yorker Festival Reunion series showrunner Mitch Hurwitz and the main cast announced they were going to make a fourth season as a prequel to the film.
The fourth season premiered on Netflix in May 2013 and from 2013-2017 various cast and crew members and Netflix executives stated that Season Five was in the works but it wasn't until May 2017 that the fifth season was officially announced.
During pre-production, production, post-production, and press events for Season Four Jason Bateman and Hurwitz repeatedly called Season Four "Act 1" of a three-act story. In 2017 Bateman has called Season Five "Act 2" with the third act to manifest in a future season or movie.
According to Jason Bateman in July 2017, production for Season Five begins in August 2017. The new season will explore more similarities to the Bluth family and the Trump family in the same way similarities between the Bush family were explored in the first three seasons. Bateman also told EW radio that the theme of the fifth season would be a murder mystery as the family attempts to solve who killed Lucille 2? The fifth season will pick up immediately after the events of Season Four.
Jason Bateman: The central spine of that story of is the death of Liza Minnelli's character, and a bit of whodunit, who may have done it, who had something to do with it. [...] That’s sort of a central thread around which [Hurwitz] is going to braid in all the colorful plot complications that he knows how to do.EW radio
Jason Bateman: It is pretty much a direct pick-up from where we left off in season 4, so I would recommend before season 5 starts for people to go back through that fourth season and try to refamiliarize yourself as best you can with that, because the first two episodes of the fifth season basically stitch into the final parts of the fourth season as a sort of a continuation and it kind of zippers the two together, then starting in episode 3, really starts covering all the new ground of this fifth season.RottenTomatoes.com
On November 18, Tony Hale posted a photo from the Season Five wrap party, confirming that the filming for Season 5 has finished.
Season Four cliffhangers
Season Four ends with several cliffhangers:
- Who killed Lucille 2? — Buster is arrested for Lucille Austero's murder although every Bluth has motive for her disappearance. Furthermore, no evidence has been shown she is actually dead.
- Who played Thing in Fantastic 4: An Action Musical? — Tobias gives the Thing costume to Buster, who leaves it by the Chicken Dan's tent before punching Herbert Love and fleeing. Yet Thing is seen (poorly) dancing in the floating train wreck of a musical.
- What is Michael ashamed of? — Michael returns to the model home late the night of Cinco wearing a banana stand yellow shirt, and is extremely ashamed of something he did. Is it connected to Lucille 2's disappearance?
- What happens to Fakeblock? — George Michael's fake company Fakeblock is based on a software that doesn't exist. At the end of the season George Michael is being sued by P-Hound for the ownership of Fakeblock and is, unbeknownst to himself, also being threatened by the hacktivist group Anonymous (who leave him the misinterpreted note "you are about to get screwed like you've never been screwed before") because of Fakeblock's alleged anti-piracy abilities. On top of it all, he is also committing fraud, as Fakeblock doesn't actually have any of its (vaguely) advertised capabilities.
- What happens to George Michael's relationship with his father Michael, and their lover's triangle with Rebel Alley? — George Michael and Michael's tug-of-war over Rebel comes to a head when George Michael steps up to his father and punches him.
- What happens to the US/Mexico wall that George and Lindsay want to build? — Lindsay was (accidentally) hosting a successful rally to build the US/Mexico wall. Will it get built?
Other story continuations
A handful of smaller stories that could be explored further, such as Maeby's life as a sex offender, Lindsay's congressional run, G.O.B. in a post-Tony Wonder world, a newly forgiving and loving Lucille and post-explosion Tobias. In various post-Season Four interviews, Hurwitz has mentioned that several other elements will return in the next chapter:
- The Chicken Dance
- Cindy the Ostrich and the Season Four motif of ostriches.
- Franklin Delano Bluth
- The Banana Stand
- Parmesan cheese & mustard
- Dr. Norman
- "Love Each Other"
- Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
- Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
- Will Arnett as G.O.B.
- Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth
- Alia Shawkat as Maeby Fünke
- Tony Hale as Buster Bluth
- David Cross as Tobias Fünke
- Jeffrey Tambor as Oscar and George Bluth
- Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth
- Ron Howard as Narrator and as Himself
- Returning Guest Cast
- Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn
- John Beard as Himself
- Isla Fisher as Rebel Alley
- Maria Bamford as DeBrie Bardeaux
No official episode count has been released, but social media pictures of clapboards show there may be at least 9 episodes.
In the initial press release it was stated that the cast would appear "collectively."  In a May 2017 interview Will Arnett stated that the new season will be structured "much like the original broadcast series."
Jason Bateman: I’ve read the first three scripts, and it all continues to be either all together or paired off in twos and threes, basically the same format as the Fox episodes, so that’s all back on.RottenTomatoes.com
Behind the Scenes
- → See 13 pictures from Season 5 BTS at Images from Season 5 BTS.
- → Watch more videos from Behind the Scenes of Arrested Development at Season Five Interview Videos
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 7/20/17 — Vulture.com — Jason Bateman Says Arrested Development Season 5 Will Revolve Around a Huge Mistake, Specifically Murder
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 5/17/17 — Netflix.com — The Bluths are Back. Again!!!
- ↑ 7/19/17 — DailyBeast.com — ‘Arrested Development’s’ New Season Will Take On Trump
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 8/15/17 — RottenTomatoes.com — OZARK RENEWED: JASON BATEMAN ON SHOW'S SUCCESS, SEASON 2, AND AN ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT UPDATE
- ↑ 11/2/17 — Uproxx.com — Henry Winkler On Playing It Cool With ‘Hank Zipzer’ And Returning To ‘Arrested Development’
- ↑ 5/23/17 — @jb111 on Twitter
- ↑ @islafisher on Instagram
- ↑ 12/20/17 — Reddit.com — Maria Bamford AMA
- ↑ 11/9/17 — @MrTonyHale on Twitter
- ↑ 5/30/17 — BusinessInsider.com — 'Arrested Development' star Will Arnett says the new season will be structured 'much like the original'