As bits of spoilers and reports from production have said, Netflix's 15-episode fourth season of Arrested Development is going to be packed with guest stars - so many, according to Buzzfeed, that there were problems scheduling everyone to appear in their scenes with the rest of the cast. In an effort to make it work, some actors reportedly had to film their scenes separately against a green screen so they could be edited into the show during post-production. Now we know where they got the idea for Tobias Fünke's genius "Insert Me Anywhere" acting website!
Anyway - one instance of green screen magic we're going to see in the fourth season:
Rivals Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter) and Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli) share the screen in at least one scene in the new season, but the characters, who are shown interacting in a restaurant, were not in the same room together, according to one source.
For that scene, the source described Hurwitz reading, off camera, Walter’s parts while Minnelli filmed her lines. The footage was later combined with footage Walter filmed alone. The result, says this source, is a mixed bag.
“It does look kind of like the Austin Powers stuff — you can tell that it was green screened,” said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Another, Buzzfeed reports, included Fonzie himself, Henry Winkler:
A second source told BuzzFeed that Henry Winkler, who plays the Bluth family lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn, was green-screened into the majority of his scenes. But, the same source added, “I’ve gotten to see a couple episodes and I didn’t notice any problems. It wasn’t the most extensive scenes, but everything I’ve seen, the post-production team did a great job with, so I wouldn’t say I’m worried — I’d say I’m curious.”
According to Buzzfeed's first source, who sounds pretty bitter if we say so ourselves, the green-screening had somewhat of an effect on the fluidity of the scenes: "I think the reason most people like the [original] show is because it’s off-the-cuff and improvised. You can really see that the actors and extras really, really like working with each other...for a different show it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but because of the nature of the comedy, and the writing, and the direction, [green screening] is something that I think is not a good idea — and I think a lot of fans would agree that they’d rather it not be made if it is not going to be made in the same style."
As previously reported, each episode centers on one character from the series, and will detail what they've been up to in the past seven years since the series ended - the only actor that reportedly appears in every episode is Jason Bateman's Michael Bluth. "The only way we could get everybody together for what we’ll call loosely an anthology or a series was to kind of dedicate each episode to a different character’s point of view," creator Mitch Hurwitz explained last January of the format.