The Untitled Michael B. Project is the working title of the movie produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment originally about the California real estate market collapse told through the personal story of Michael Bluth, but since then, the project has evolved into something completely different.
Maeby's original project
The very first time Ron Howard crossed paths with the Bluths was after Maeby was found out to be underage while working for Tantamount Studios. Mort Meyers suggested she could get the rights to her and her family's story by making her family sign releases. Whether she got the rights is unclear but improbable, because soon after she started collecting signatures, Michael left the party looking for the absent George Michael, and Lucille capsized the boat while fleeing from the SEC. ("Development Arrested") Nevertheless, Maeby eventually got a meeting with Ron Howard, who appeared to be interested by the project (although he saw the story about the Bluths more as a movie, rather than a TV show) and hired Maeby to work for Imagine Entertainment. But her stint as a legitimate movie producer ended when a new hire and old enemy Kitty Sanchez got her fired and the project was put on hold. ("Señoritis")
The Untitled Michael B. Project
Ron Howard was reminded of the Bluths and got the idea to use Michael as the central figure this time after seeing his article in an issue of Altitude. He wanted to make it a father-son story and show the heartache of Michael's wife's death. Michael assumed the father-son story was that of him and his father, but Ron wanted to tell the story of him and George Michael. ("The B. Team")
Michael needed to get the rights to his family so he approached Carl Weathers to buy the rights he had for Scandalmakers, but Carl never acquired them. He then was cast to portray himself in the film. Michael hired Stefan Gentles to be the screenwriter and Andy Richter to portray his father. Ron and Brian ended up nixing Michael's creative team, advising him to focus on getting his family's signatures first and foremost.("The B. Team")
Michael proceeded to get everyone's signature but, angered by his family, ended up ripping most of them up. He never asked for or got George Michael's signature and in the end only Buster's signature remained intact.
Not all signed releases were ripped up on screen, in some cases Michael simply told a family member they were out of the movie. Two family members didn't sign one at all.
- George Sr:
- Signed: After George Sr wandered into Orange County Imagine, mistaking it for Orange County Imaging, and met Michael, they ended up catching up and after Michael told his dad he was only doing this to attract Rebel with a lie, George gladly signed. ("The B. Team") , but not before asking Michael a favor in return: convincing Herbert Love to oppose the wall he could no longer build. He also later asks Michael to give G.O.B. a job. ("Double Crossers")
- Ripped: During his second visit at Austerity when he rips up Lucille's release (see below) , he hears Lucille on the phone with George Sr, takes the receiver and makes sure his father hears him ripping up his release for his advice to hire G.O.B.. ("A New Attitude")
- Signed: While visiting Lucille at Austerity, Lucille and Michael signed each other's documents: Michael signed away his connections to the Bluth Company, and Lucille signed the release. ("Queen B.")
- Ripped: After Lucille suggested Rebel's other boyfriend "George Maharis" might be G.O.B., and especially after Michael and G.O.B. fought at My Little Ballroom, clearing the misunderstanding along the way, he made it a point to see her at Austerity again and rip her release up in front of her. ("A New Attitude")
- Signed: While asking G.O.B. to sell houses in Sudden Valley, Michael also asks G.O.B. to sign for the movie. Thinking he himself would appear in the movie, G.O.B. gladly signed. ("A New Attitude")
- Revoked: After fighting with G.O.B. at My Little Ballroom, the latter mentioned to Michael he had sold all the houses in Sudden Valley to sex offenders. As G.O.B. was leaving, Michael told him he was out of the movie. ("A New Attitude")
- Agreed: Running into Lindsay at The Ealing Club, she and Michael asked each other a series of favors, one of which included Lindsay's rights for the movie. She didn't actually sign a release. ("Red Hairing")
- Revoked: Tensions between Michael and Lindsay arose after an awkward double date with Rebel and Herbert, and before leaving Michael told Lindsay she was out of the movie. ("Smashed")
- Signed: After a horrible meeting with Tobias and Ron Howard, during which Michael just realized Rebel was Ron's daughter, and Tobias assaulted Ron for refusing to give him the rights to the Fantastic Four, Michael realized he hadn't got Tobias' release yet, asked him to sign one... ("Smashed")
- Ripped: ... and ripped it up immediately afterwards. ("Smashed")
- Signed: While going to Lucille 2's penthouse to see Perfecto, Maeby ran into Michael who was leaving Lucille 1's place. After chatting for a while, and especially after she told him Rebel and "George Maharis" were ending their relationship, Michael asked Maeby for a signature. ("Señoritis")
- Revoked: After stealing pictures of Rebel and her beau from her room, Michael realized "George Maharis" was George Michael and Maeby knew. He called her and told her she was out of the movie.("Blockheads")
- Signed: After an extatic Buster (who was in love with Ophelia Love at the time) visited Lucille at Austerity, and just when he was leaving, he ran into Michael who asked him to sign the release, just as he was about to destroy his mother's. ("Off the Hook")
- Ripped/Revoked: Never, and it's in fact this one intact release that let Ron and Brian push the project forward.("Blockheads")
- George Michael: Due to their strained relationship during that time, Michael never got a chance to ask him to sign a release.
After Buster, whose only intact release got into their hands, got arrested as a suspect for the murder of Lucille Austero, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard proceeded to celebrate, as the murder mystery story could potentially be "the next Da Vinci Code." ("Blockheads")