A new Netflix series called Ozark will star Jason Bateman and is set to release sometime in the later half of 2017. Netflix is rumored to have picked up the series but hadn’t yet confirmed anything as of last week. A new report on Lake Expo says the new Netflix series has been in negotiations for the last two months.
According to Lake Expo, the new Netflix series was ordered last fall, even though Netflix has repeatedly declined to comment on the new project. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Netflix is nearing a deal to produce Ozark and would be the first reunion with 47-year-old Bateman since he returned to his role as Michael Bluth in the television sitcom Arrested Development. Bateman played the Bluth brother character for three years on FOX before a fourth season of Arrested Development was picked up by Netflix in 2013.
Bateman’s new Netflix series is said to focus on the Lake of the Ozarks area located in central Missouri. Bill Dubuque, who wrote the screenplay for the 2014 American drama film The Judge starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall, created the new drama series, Ozark, which follows a family man’s life during a move from the big city to the Lake of the Ozarks, where he begins a long road to paying off debt owed to a ruthless Mexican drug lord from a money-laundering scheme.
“Ozark will explore the dark and dangerous world of drug-money laundering in rural Missouri,” as described by TV Series Finale.
Bateman’s character in Ozark, Marty Bird, sets up a new drug operation in Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks tourist region to earn money to pay off the drug lord in exchange for his life.
SlashFilm says they first caught wind of the new Netflix series last September straight from Bateman himself. Bateman reportedly told SlashFilm writer Peter Sciretta all about the many roles he will play in getting Ozark to the small screen next year. American independent film and TV studio Media Rights Capital, also known as MRC, will help produce each one-hour episode of Ozark alongside Bateman, who will also direct and star in the new Netflix series.
MRC also teamed up with the popular global streaming service Netflix in 2013 to release the first season of the dramatic political web TV series House of Cards, which was adapted from BBC’s miniseries of the same name. House of Cards first aired as a critically acclaimed UK TV series on BBC in four episodes in the late 1990s and has lasted a full three seasons on Netflix, with a fourth season coming up in March.
Bateman originally hoped to executive produce and direct all of the first 10 episodes of the new Netflix series with MRC but instead opted to direct only less than half of those, saying time-wise there was no way to act in all of them and prep all of them.
“I’m going to direct the first two and probably the last two out of the ten. Just scheduling-wise there is no way to act in all of them and prep all of them, but that was the original intent — to basically direct a 600-page movie. I’m kind of a glutton for… But since I’ll be the EP as well, it’s kind of a producer’s medium, I’ll still be able to check all those boxes,” said Bateman.
According to Bateman, acting in Ozark will be a challenge due to its dramatic nature. Bateman is best known for his comedic roles, having starred mainly in TV sitcoms, such as Silver Spoons, The Hogan Family, and Arrested Development, since the early 1980s. Bateman has also starred in several comedy films since 2004, including Dodgeball, Starsky & Hutch, and Horrible Bosses.
The new Netflix series Ozark is likened to the long-running and popular American crime drama TV series Breaking Bad, which aired on the AMC network for five seasons and also followed the life of a drug-selling family man. Even though Bateman has reportedly confirmed to SlashFilm that Netflix picked up Ozark, rumors are circulating that MRC may still try to shop the new series out to other digital streaming outlets or even premium cable networks. Ozark is due to start production this coming spring, but still unknown is whether or not the new Netflix series will be filmed on location in the northern part of the Ozarks.
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