It’s been some time since we’ve had any update on Arrested Development Season 5, so leave it to Ron Howard to once again bail us out. The narrator has officially hit the recording studio, and a brief update might just hint at Season 5’s first words.

Having kept himself busy with a certain low-key space film, Howard provided a 64th birthday update in the form of a glimpse at Arrested Development recording sessions. A closer look at the photo reveals Howard recording lines for episode 501, which – if the premiere follows suit of Howard’s narration opening each episode – begins with “Michael Bluth had been away … ”

When last we saw Michael in Arrested Development Season 4, the beleaguered Bluth son had just taken a punch from his own child over their mutual relationship with Rebel Alley (Isla Fisher). Seeing as the fourth season ended on the urgent note of Buster being arrested for Lucille 2’s murder, it’s plausible Michael having been “away” implies some sort of time jump for the fifth season.

Elsewhere of Arrested Development Season 5, the full cast of Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Tony Hale, Portia de Rossi, David Cross and Alia Shawkat will return, spending “much more” time together after Season 4 kept their characters apart. We’ve still heard no update on reports of a prequel format said to minimize cast commitment, though we know Season 5 will continue the murder-mystery begun by Season 4’s finale.

We’ll hopefully have more official Arrested Development Season 5 updates in the next few months, so stay tuned.

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