Jason Bateman Talks 'Arrested Development,' Sister Justine in GQ

The actor reveals how the new Netflix episodes tie into the forthcoming movie.

Jason Bateman on the cover of GQ's April issue
Jason Bateman on the cover of GQ's April issue

Choose your own "Arrested Development" adventure?

Indeed, when the beloved cult TV comedy returns with 14 new episodes exclusively on Netflix in May, fans can watch them in any order, says star Jason Bateman, though there is a recommended progression. Creator Mitch Hurwitz specifically wrote the new material knowing that Netflix would release them all at once.

"So certain clues are revealed to you based on the order in which you watch them," Bateman tells GQ. "Part of the fun of what [Hurwitz] does is so dense and multilayered -- I mean, if you could see the writers' room before we started shooting -- the cards and literally the strings of yarn. ... It looks like 'A Beautiful Mind.'"

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It's been over seven years since "Arrested Development" left the air after three seasons. Since then, rumors have swirled about a possible movie or an additional season, but nothing came to pass until Netflix stepped in. For the cast, the long-awaited reunion was "pretty neat," Bateman says.

"That show launched a lot of our careers and everyone is doing great, so to come back together while things are going well is really a fortunate situation," he explains. "Everybody had to be big boys about not making it financially impossible."

While Netflix won't be ordering more episodes, this won't be the last fans see of "Arrested."

"The episodes are simply Act 1, and the movie will have Act 2 and Act 3 in it. So one does not work without the other," Bateman reveals. "There are many, many questions that these episodes ask that only the movie will answer."

Jason Bateman in GQ's April issue
Jason Bateman in GQ's April issue

When can "Arrested" fans expect the movie to be made? That's the biggest question of all, because the cast has been busy with other projects. Bateman himself has done movie after movie, including "The Change-Up," "Horrible Bosses," and "Identity Thief."

[Related: Has 'Veronica Mars' Ushered in a New Era of Movie Development?]

Not only that, but Bateman's even eyeing another career -- talk-show host -- after his children go to college. "If television will have me, I would love to do that. Regis [Philbin] retired at what, 80? So in 20 years, I'll be 64. To host a talk show then, that would be a fun way to do the last bit."

It's been a wild ride for Bateman, going from child star to TV and movie star. He's taken a very different path from his sister, fellow child star Justine Bateman. "Her interests have gone into other areas. She's now studying, I think, computer science," he says.

[Related: Will Arnett and Ron Howard Talk 'Arrested Development's' Season 4, Life After Netflix]

"I'm not surprised that one of us is in a different place than the other -- no better, no worse, just in a different place," he says. "It was surprising when [our careers] were at the same place or similar: both on television series, both on the same network. Hers was wildly successful, my stuff was sort of middling all the time, but it was pretty neat to be in the same house and both be on television. It was pretty interesting."

See Bateman in "Identity Thief":