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'Arrested Development' Creator Mitch Hurwitz Helping Peter Serafinowicz Write The Brian Butterfield Movie

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist December 19, 2011 at 12:15PM

Much to our surprise, one of the most popular stories we've run in the last few months was the news from the comedian Peter Serafinowicz that he was working on a film featuring his cult creation Brian Butterfield, an obese, incompetent middle-aged man who seems to botch everything he turns his hand to, but it speaks to the extent to which Butterfield, and Serafinowicz, has grown more and more popular in the four years since "The Peter Serafinowicz Show" was on the air, thanks principally to the proliferation of his work on the Internet, and the actor/writer/director's star status on Twitter.
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Mitch Hurwitz Butterfield

Much to our surprise, one of the most popular stories we've run in the last few months was the news from the comedian Peter Serafinowicz that he was working on a film featuring his cult creation Brian Butterfield, an obese, incompetent middle-aged man who seems to botch everything he turns his hand to, but it speaks to the extent to which Butterfield, and Serafinowicz, has grown more and more popular in the four years since "The Peter Serafinowicz Show" was on the air, thanks principally to the proliferation of his work on the Internet, and the actor/writer/director's star status on Twitter.

But other than the fact that it existed, there hasn't been much to report on the Brian Butterfield film. Until now, that is; Serafinowicz has given an interview to UK comedy site Chortle, and revealed, among other things, that he's enlisted the man behind perhaps the greatest comedy show of the last decade, and someone who's been a great advocate of the actor in the past, to help write the project.

Joining the star, his brother James Serafinowicz, and veteran script editor Andrew Elllard ("The I.T. Crowd," "Red Dwarf") on scripting duties? None other than Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of "Arrested Development," something that Serafinowcz described as "a huge boon for us." The pair first worked together on short-lived Fox sitcom "Running Wilde," in which the actor had a supporting role to pal Will Arnett, and Serafinowicz also confirmed that he's still set for a role in the "Arrested Development" movie, although he's not sure what, saying his part "has changed at least once" and doesn't yet know if he'll feature in the Netflix fourth season of the show. "The film is good enough for me to be honest," he says, "How can that not be exciting? It was the funniest TV show of the decade, one of the funniest ever!"

Clearly, having Hurwitz on board to script the Brian Butterfield film is quite the coup, and Serafinowicz spilled the beans as to what to expect from the project, comparing it to "The Pink Panther," and saying "We wanted to do a modern Clouseau movie but with our character. So he’s a really unsuccessful detective, just one of his many businesses that fail. Then this terrible detective becomes embroiled in a real case... We want to spoof the genre like "The Naked Gun" or "Police Squad," but we're trying to make the character three-dimensional. It's great fun fleshing him out, giving him a backstory and family life." He's not sure if he'll direct yet, however, saying "I doubt it. I’ll be in a fucking fat suit for God’s sake."

It's not the only film project he's involved in, either, as the interview also reveals that Serafinowicz is re-uniting with Robert Popper, his co-creator on cult TV show "Look Around You," for "The Other Side," a big-screen version of a radio comedy created by the pair that brings news from the afterlife (listen to the pilot here), which is in development at Film4. There's no time-frame on either project yet, it would seem, but it seems clear that Serafinowicz is going to be a significant presence on the big screen in the next few years. 

This article is related to: Peter Serafinowicz, Mitch Hurwitz, Arrested Development


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