Mitch Hurwitz: Running Wilde Is Not Arrested Development, But You Should Still Watch
Yes, an Arrested Development movie is still in the works, and series creator Mitch Hurwitz is still excited about it.
"We very much loved working on Arrested, and that's why we do want to make the movie," Hurwitz said.
But Hurwitz has also moved on to something new, a Fox comedy called Running Wilde. The series, starring Will Arnett as a pompous playboy and Keri Russell as his former childhood sweetheart, does share a few things with Arrested. Joining Hurwitz and Arnett, who co-created and is also writing and co-executive producing the series, is Arrested alum David Cross, who will appear in at least seven episodes of Running's first season.
Exclusive: David Cross joins Fox's Running Wilde
Are the shows too similar? Producers and cast faced that question — in many various forms — from reporters Monday during the show's Television Critics Association fall preview. Hurwitz was adamant that no one is trying to re-create the family Bluth.
For one thing, Running Wilde isn't about a dysfunctional, backbiting family. The story, which Hurwitz described as a "true romantic comedy," is narrated by 12-year-old Puddle (Stefania Owen). She's the daughter of liberal-minded do-gooder Emmy (Russell), whose world-saving crusades make Puddle yearn for a normal life. When Emmy is reunited with Steve (Arnett), the bumbling son of an oil tycoon, Puddle becomes hopeful that her wish can come true.
"There's real peril in trying to repeat yourself and apply rules that applied to something else to a new project," Hurwitz said. Producers did, however, consider the inevitable Arrested comparisons when it came time to cast Cross, who will play the fiancé of Russell's character.
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"Of course we're going to get the comparisons, good or bad," Arnett said, then deadpanned, "Bad, mostly. ... [We thought,] 'F--- it, we might as well get him.'"
"Everything that comes ouf of [David's] mouth is hysterical," co-creator and executive producer Jim Valley added.
Hurwitz acknowledged that there is a "burden" associated with bring compared to Arrested, which won the 2004 Emmy for best comedy series, but called it a "high-class problem to have."
"We're glad to be working, we're glad to be doing something that appeals to a wider audience," Hurwitz said, referring to the below-average ratings that plagued Arrested in spite of critical acclaim. "If we can make a bigger audience interested in [Running Wilde], more of our subversiveness can come out."
He continued, "The show asks something of us that Arrested didn't — and that's a great, exciting challenge."