Dan Snierson
December 26, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EST

As an Arrested Development movie inches closer to reality and the producers try to corral all of the old cast, one thing you can count on: Will Arnett is ready to reunite. “Arrested Development has such a special place in my heart,” he tells EW.com, “and I can’t wait to strap that fake hand back on and fight the seal once and for all—wait, which guy did I play?” (For the uninitiated, that’d be highly incompetent illusionist GOB.) Fans have been clamoring for another round of Bluth family dysfunction ever since the critically lauded show was cancelled in 2006 (and the finale slyly hinted that the story could continue on the big screen). ”It’ll be fun to get back together with everybody and work on it,” says Arnett. “It’s been so long now, we almost have to do it. It’s like we have to finish the joke.” What details can he spill about the project?  “I’m sure I’m not speaking out of turn when I say Christmas Day ’09, 12:01 a.m. is the first show,” he shares. “We’re opening on—this is unprecedented—13,000 screens. This is going to be mind-blowing. We start shooting this summer. It’s going to be directed by Obama’s Secretary of the Treasury, I’m not sure how [series creator] Mitch Hurwitz feels about that. Part of the Wall Street bailout is for our budget. We’re getting a bill and a half; because we were a business considered under duress because of the cancellation, blah blah blah, we met federal requirements. And the box office is guaranteed by the FDIC.”  Sounds like money in the bank.

More on Arrested Development and Will Arnett from EW:

Arrested Development movie: From Maeby to Shirley?

Jason Bateman talks Arrested Development (July 2008)

Jeffrey Tambor talks Arrested Development (June 2008)

31 TV Shows You Loved, Lost

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