News

Ozark Renewed: Jason Bateman on Show's Success, Season 2, and an Arrested Development Update

Netflix crime drama's executive producer and star certainly doesn't mind those Breaking Bad comparisons.

by | August 15, 2017 | Comments

Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony honoring Jason Bateman (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Netflix announced Tuesday that it has renewed its popular new crime drama Ozark for a second season. Star Jason Bateman spoke to Rotten Tomatoes about the surprise hit series and season 5 of Arrested Development, which just went into production last week and acts as the second part of what he sees as a three-part story arc for the Bluths — with a sixth season as its conclusion.

Ozark, which many fans have compared to award-winning drama series Breaking Bad, tells the story of Marty Byrde (Bateman) and his family, who trade the skyline of Chicago for the shoreline of the Lake of the Ozarks in southern Missouri to provide cover for a money-laundering scheme he is forced into by a drug cartel.

Bateman is “so glad it all came together so well,” especially because he is involved in so many aspects of making the series.

“The acting stuff is a very, very comfortable thing for me to do, and it allows me to stay open and aware of all the other points in the process,” Bateman said. “It just gives me a great seat to observe all those things too, having such great proximity to the actors and being able to affect the pacing of a scene — I enjoy that.”


Ozark - Jason Bateman, Julia Garner, Carson Holmes, Marc Menchaca, Christopher James Baker (Jackson Davis/Netflix)

(Photo by Jackson Davis/Netflix)

He also revealed that the initial pitch was for him to direct all 10 episodes of season 1, but they just couldn’t make that schedule work.

“We sold it to Netflix, and as we were going into budgeting and scheduling, we discovered we couldn’t create enough time for me to prep all 10 episodes, so I backed off on directing all 10 of them and did just the first two and the last two,” Bateman said. “Ultimately you have to put it all together, stick it in the oven and hope it’s cooked properly.”

Asked if he has gotten a sense of the show’s growing buzz, he said it’s always hard to tell just how popular a show is, especially on a streaming service.

“People on the street will come up and say, ‘Hey, I watched the show and I really like it.’ But those who don’t like it are obviously not stopping me on the street and saying, ‘Hey, your show sucks,’ so I’m hearing 100 percent praise from my little bubble,” Bateman said with a laugh. “But I am hearing from my friends that people are talking to them about it, a lot of people are finding it — at least in Los Angeles, but again, that’s another bubble, so I’m not sure. I’m not sure if middle America is loving and watching and embracing the show, but it seems like it’s getting a warm reception.”

Fans of the show have definitely noticed its similarities to another drama, a little show called Breaking Bad, which won 15 Emmys over the course of its five-season run. “There are worse shows to be compared to,” Bateman joked, but said Ozark is actually taking a different trajectory than Breaking Bad did.

“I’ve only seen the first season of Breaking Bad, and really, really liked it, but my understanding is that character [Bryan Cranston’s Walter White] really starts to lean into the criminal world, and we’re going to make sure that we don’t do that … [my character is] going to be constantly trying to end the show and get back to normalcy,” Bateman revealed. “It’s going to be the writers’ job to come up with legitimate reasons why he can’t end the show, and he has to stay and continue to put out fires.”


Spoiler warning: Skip down to the Arrested Development section if you haven’t watched all of season 1 of Ozark.


Bateman on Season 2: Players May Change, But the Game Remains the Same

Ozark - Jason Bateman, Esai Morales (Jackson Davis/Netflix)

(Photo by Jackson Davis/Netflix)

Bateman and the other EPs had definitely talked about what season 2 could look like before the renewal announcement — just because Del (Esai Morales) is dead doesn’t mean the cartel is gone for good, though the local enemies may look very different in season 2.

“Now that Del is gone, the assumption is that another lieutenant would come into town to oversee this larger portion of money that I’m charged to wash,” Bateman said. “The riverboat casino would be able to handle that and then some. And probably that means that Marty’s obstacles are going to take the shape of unions and perhaps some St. Louis or Kansas City mob, which is actually pretty formidable.

“Politicians and bureaucrats and land management and zoning rights and all those kinds of things that take a lot of bribery, coercion,” he continued. “It’ll probably become a little — not white collar, but probably less moonshine and a little more… I don’t know if ‘Chardonnay’ would be the right term, but the criminals might be wearing ties next year as opposed to flannels.”

Bateman also said that Marty and his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney) are going to continue to rebuild their relationship because they finally started to get back on track at the end of the first season.

“They have found a place of unification by the end of the first season, in so far as their ability to try to manage the criminal aspect of their partnership,” Bateman said. “As far as them getting things back on track romantically and domestically, I think that that will continue to grow but probably at a slower rate … maybe there are new avenues of attraction as they build that business part of their relationship. Maybe it’ll grow through a side door there. It’s probably going to get a little worse before it gets better.”

Bateman mused that perhaps instead of an “anti-hero” show, this is an “anti-family” show, because it isn’t just Wendy who knows what Marty is up to; their kids Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) and Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) know as well, which creates an interesting family dynamic.

“The kids know what the parents are doing too, so there’s a strained dynamic there as well. The parents have demolished that idyllic dynamic that kids should have for their parents as these role models that you look up to. There is much more of a peer relationship there with the four of them, and we’ll be exploring that as well,” Bateman said of season 2.


A Three-Season Arc for Arrested Development?

Arrested Development behind the scenes (Sam Urdank/Netflix)

(Photo by Sam Urdank/Netflix)

Bateman also talked about the latest season of Arrested Development, which went back into production last week, saying that season 5 is able to follow more of the format of the episodes that aired on Fox, rather than the cast being split up a lot like in season 4, and he urges fans to go back and watch season 4 (again) before season 5 premieres.

“I’ve read the first three scripts, and it all continues to be either all together or paired off in twos and threes, basically the same format as the Fox episodes, so that’s all back on,” he said.

“It is pretty much a direct pick-up from where we left off in season 4, so I would recommend before season 5 starts for people to go back through that fourth season and try to refamiliarize yourself as best you can with that, because the first two episodes of the fifth season basically stitch into the final parts of the fourth season as a sort of a continuation and it kind of zippers the two together, then starting in episode 3, really starts covering all the new ground of this fifth season,” he explained.

Bateman hopes the series gets a sixth season, because it would really bring the new chapter of Bluth family misadventures to a nice conclusion, he said.

“This fifth season is the second act. The fourth season was the first act, the fifth season is the second act, and hopefully, there would be a sixth season that would finish this three-act story that [creator] Mitch Hurwitz came up with after the Fox version of the show was done,” he said.

Ozark season 1 and Arrested Development seasons 1-4 are streaming now on Netflix; Arrested Development season 5 is expected to debut on the streaming service in 2018.


Tag Cloud

spider-man Nominations cooking psycho rotten Podcast Crackle Food Network award winner New York Comic Con Ovation Turner Quiz BET Awards green book Awards Tour jamie lee curtis series Superheroe target indie Starz Summer teaser 2017 Paramount Network Pixar screen actors guild Bravo venice werewolf Apple TV+ Animation Acorn TV TCA Awards comedies TruTV Set visit VOD Paramount Plus Rom-Com Captain marvel dc Warner Bros. fast and furious cats TCA crime drama Musical war NBC universal monsters women Tubi Epix natural history Holiday Drama OWN FX miniseries marvel cinematic universe The Witch Trivia ITV indiana jones A&E Disney streaming service Rock El Rey A24 mutant documentaries ESPN technology Brie Larson Oscars Spring TV AMC Netflix Country Character Guide Shudder versus discovery live action Mary Poppins Returns DGA psychological thriller vampires MTV black Lionsgate true crime DC Comics PlayStation cops composers 4/20 independent 2018 MCU scary movies Superheroes Esquire thriller based on movie stand-up comedy Premiere Dates monster movies Emmy Nominations Academy Awards Infographic stop motion japanese name the review emmy awards Tarantino WGN video Disney docudrama DirecTV Lifetime Christmas movies Rocky rotten movies we love laika obituary Marvel Television Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TIFF nature foreign E3 directors Endgame cancelled television children's TV Amazon Studios justice league television Emmys doctor who SDCC asian-american razzies video on demand king kong MSNBC movies reviews archives franchise Black Mirror halloween tv new zealand 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Film Festival worst HBO Go History Walt Disney Pictures Song of Ice and Fire revenge CNN telelvision The Walt Disney Company Sundance Now RT21 FXX Showtime Pirates child's play See It Skip It American Society of Cinematographers 20th Century Fox Marvel trailers Mary Tyler Moore NYCC Watching Series Stephen King Reality Competition Anna Paquin crossover richard e. Grant Trailer Spectrum Originals adventure dark WarnerMedia anime Interview Legendary Valentine's Day movie saw 99% Peacock nbcuniversal kong new star wars movies Broadway Alien VH1 Discovery Channel streaming movies hispanic Fall TV slashers chucky high school Travel Channel ViacomCBS sequel Sony Pictures The CW YouTube Hallmark Christmas movies deadpool aliens PaleyFest Disney+ Disney Plus Certified Fresh LGBTQ Tomatazos blaxploitation BBC America 2021 Horror prank biography VICE 71st Emmy Awards Music Baby Yoda Extras festival animated sag awards facebook dceu classics CMT game show game of thrones remakes Photos Arrowverse ABC Family comic Comedy Central Martial Arts robots Musicals IFC Lifetime book Comedy science fiction Amazon Prime Video Black History Month harry potter Comic Book casting cancelled TV series Super Bowl The Arrangement GLAAD dragons cars Red Carpet Sneak Peek Biopics screenings Reality romantic comedy TV zombies Mystery Film spain Awards TNT reboot crime thriller Adult Swim scorecard comics hollywood TV One Fox Searchlight Family 2020 Calendar Universal Logo USA Network period drama GoT kids docuseries mockumentary RT History golden globes Vudu ABC spanish language Netflix Christmas movies BAFTA Funimation boxoffice Apple 2019 theme song Video Games Best and Worst concert australia Countdown scene in color Nat Geo hidden camera The Academy sports cinemax Polls and Games italian APB south america Winners Writers Guild of America E! blockbuster talk show Star Trek fresh parents superhero stoner Hulu zombie breaking bad james bond cancelled all-time Tumblr transformers crime GIFs toronto TCM Comics on TV Winter TV YouTube Premium golden globe awards LGBT godzilla BET YA Cartoon Network what to watch 45 Ghostbusters Hallmark latino CBS All Access BBC One Heroines Amazon ratings sitcom Sundance TV Marvel Studios Hear Us Out Kids & Family films Binge Guide medical drama Cannes canceled TV Land book adaptation National Geographic Grammys die hard Mindy Kaling historical drama Year in Review rom-coms mission: impossible zero dark thirty Lucasfilm dramedy unscripted Image Comics Crunchyroll Sci-Fi HBO 72 Emmy Awards PBS criterion OneApp Elton John Freeform Chilling Adventures of Sabrina a nightmare on elm street Pop TV comic books CBS SundanceTV Thanksgiving aapi Avengers TCA Winter 2020 jurassic park spy thriller cancelled TV shows ABC Signature disaster Masterpiece BBC First Reviews Ellie Kemper DC Universe 93rd Oscars ID TV movies french nfl romance anthology Mudbound superman Exclusive Video The Walking Dead Nickelodeon know your critic Disney Plus Television Critics Association Amazon Prime political drama Star Wars YouTube Red diversity Paramount cults Pet Sematary Women's History Month blockbusters 21st Century Fox Opinion supernatural Britbox new york sequels Election elevated horror kaiju 24 frames Mary poppins Dark Horse Comics X-Men Western toy story TV renewals popular best cartoon festivals CW Seed adaptation TCA 2017 rt archives tv talk IFC Films 2016 finale Pride Month worst movies TBS Columbia Pictures Pop DC streaming service Rocketman satire football twilight dogs news The Purge USA travel First Look strong female leads Pacific Islander Creative Arts Emmys San Diego Comic-Con Shondaland Syfy Fox News halloween politics heist movie critics Christmas HBO Max comiccon Spike Marathons SXSW Television Academy Box Office quibi joker binge singing competition canceled TV shows pirates of the caribbean 2015 spinoff Cosplay streaming witnail Classic Film renewed TV shows Fantasy Action free movies documentary space boxing Turner Classic Movies Schedule lord of the rings international police drama batman ghosts Trophy Talk hist FX on Hulu Sundance President TLC Chernobyl Toys FOX 007 Disney Channel christmas movies serial killer Holidays Teen spanish Apple TV Plus social media