Ozark' Season 4 To Film in November; Will Jason Bateman Direct?

Ozark fans finally have more clarity regarding season 4. Cast and crews are supposed to start filming before the end of 2020, but will Jason Bateman direct any episodes for Ozark‘s final season?

Many fans thought there would be at least five seasons of ‘Ozark’ 

In an interview with Collider earlier this year, Bateman explained how showrunner Chris Mundy knew where he wanted Ozark to end — he just didn’t have a road map of how to get there. 

Bateman also expressed knowing that the series would happen in as many as five seasons. This lead many fans to believe there would be two more seasons of the Netflix series to look forward to. 

“There’s been this sort of character arc that [Mundy] has been incredible at staying on,” Bateman explained. “I think there’s always been the presumed area [of] three seasons, four seasons, five seasons, something like that.” 

Now, it seems plans for Ozark have changed.

‘Ozark’ will return for a final 2-part season

Ozark will conclude after season 4. What’s more, Bateman has announced when shooting will begin for the final season. 

“We’re going to start November 9,” Bateman told IndieWire. 

The final season of Ozark will be filmed amidst the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Bateman assured IndieWire that the cast and crew will be taking every precaution to keep everyone safe. 

“Everything is moving well toward that, and we’re very confident in the guidelines and protocols we’re going to be following,” he said. Showrunners are working with consultants and paying close attention to the way other productions are handling shoots during these unprecedented times. 

“The health and safety of our Ozark family is our first priority,” MRC —Ozark‘s production company — said in a statement.

Our team has approached [the] return to production with a mandate of exceeding guidelines outlined by the CDC, government officials and others.

We expect our protocols to evolve as we learn from the industry and our own productions. As we aim toward a return, we are working with the unions, health officials, our consultants, and Netflix on our COVID safety guidelines and protocols.

Upon approvals from our partners and the implementation of safety required in this new environment, we are targeting a November start date.

Season 4 of Ozark will be a total of 14 episodes. Netflix will release the season in two, seven-episode parts. 

Jason Bateman won’t direct the first two episodes of the final season 

To keep from getting sick, Bateman has passed off the responsibility of directing the first two episodes of season 4. 

Bateman has always been passionate about working behind the camera, but this year, things are a bit different.

“As normal, I was going to do the first two episodes, but as we were looking through the protocols, the guidelines, [and] all the complications with COVID, the producer side of me made me think it’s just not responsible to have one of the actors direct the first two, given that we’re still going to be getting our perimeter safe,” Bateman explained.

He continued:

If one of the actors gets sick, we all have to go home for weeks. If one of the crew members gets sick — while I’m making sure their salary is protected while they’re in quarantine — we can hire a replacement. So it just didn’t seem smart for me to [direct] the first two [episodes].

At this time, Bateman may not be directing any episodes in the fourth season of Ozark. By limiting his responsibilities to acting, Bateman hopes to minimize the risk of having the entire production shut down. 

“It’s breaking my heart [not to direct],” Bateman — who won an Emmy in 2019 for his work — added. “I love directing [Ozark], but it just didn’t make any sense to start out the season like that.” 

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