Posted on Thursday, February 25th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
This past week I attended a press junket for Disney’s upcoming film Zootopia where I spoke to most of the film’s lead cast and creatives (more on that later). During a roundtable interview with the film’s voice star Jason Bateman, the actor told us about his upcoming schedule which includes directing, producing and starring in a new Netflix series. Find out what Bateman revealed about the upcoming series Ozarks, after the jump.
It was first reported in September 2015 that Arrested Development star Jason Bateman was teaming with MRC and Aggregate on a new dramatic television series called Ozarks created by writer Bill Dubuque (The Judge). MRC is in the direct-to-series business with Netflix’s House Of Cards, Starz’s Blunt Talk, and other shows, typically shopping their shows to premium cable and digital outlets. But Bateman confirmed to us that the show has ended up with Netflix. We contacted Netflix, but they had “no comment.”
The actor revealed the details when talking about his future projects:
“Next I’m going to do a studio comedy called Office Christmas Party, which is exactly what it sounds like and then I’m going to do a show for Netflix that I’m going to direct, produce and star in. I start right after that, so that will take me through February.”
Bateman told us that Ozarks will run ten episodes, half of which he plans to direct. Although he had originally hoped to direct the entire series, which he compares to “a 600-page movie.”
“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, its kind of a producers medium, I’ll still be able to check all those boxes.”
So what is the Jason Bateman Netflix show about? Details have been kept under wraps, so the report from September only told us that the series takes its name from the location where it is set, the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
Bateman told us that he is “really looking forward to that challenge” with the new show as its a drama, in stark contrast to the comedy projects he usually takes on.
“It’s a drama. It’s kind of a dark dangerous show about a money launderer for a drug cartel.”
Sounds like the show might be something in the line of Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul. From what I’ve heard about the story, Bateman will play Marty Bird, a family man who is forced to move from the city to the Ozarks after he is caught money-laundering from a Mexican drug lord. He convinces the drug cartel to let him live and attempt to repay his debt by setting up a drug operation in the tourist locale. I’ve talked to people who have read the pilot script and one person I know says its one of the bet pilot scripts he’s read in years.
Jason Bateman’s latest film Zootopia will be released in the United States on March 4th.Cool Posts From Around the Web: