It wasn’t long after the reception of Arrested Development Season 4 that producers knew any potential fifth year would require greater effort to corral its busy cast in one place. More recent outlook on Season 5 suggested Netflix had found a way to do just that, but new reports suggest at least half of Arrested Development Season 5 may function as prequel with an all-new cast.

TVLine claims that “potentially half” of a prospective fifth season would be told in a prequel format, recasting the main characters with younger actors (bye-bye, George-Michael and Maeby) to reduce demand on the busy cast. The idea “isn’t entirely set in stone,” but worth noting is that Season 4 featured Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig in the roles of a younger George and Lucille Bluth, to say nothing of prior seasons featuring the characters as children.

Admittedly, it’s an intriguing solution to the obvious difficulty of bringing together the cast, but by no means less polarizing than the stitched-together and individually-focused episodes of Season 4. Chemistry and interplay between the original cast has always been Arrested Development’s greatest strength, one that no flashback cast could necessarily replicate.

Creator Mitch Hurwitz had previously projected an early 2017 start to production, though reports now say June is a distinct possibility. Elsewhere, Will Arnett previously claimed that Netflix bosses “need to get their s— together,” while Hurwitz has also mapped out a large portion of Season 5, hoping to capitalize on eerie similarities to the November elections.

It’d be a shame to leave Arrested Development unresolved, but is minimizing the cast wit ha prequel approach too much of Season 5 to ask?

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