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Jason Bateman Says ‘Ozark’ Ending Isn’t Too Far Away: ‘It’s Not a 12-Season Show’

With three seasons under its belt, "Ozark" heads into an uncertain future.

OZARK

Jason Bateman and Julia Garner in “Ozark”

Steve Deitl / Netflix

Netflix’s beloved crime drama “Ozark” now has three seasons under its belt, so how much longer can the series last? It’s a question Collider recently posed to series star and director Jason Bateman while discussing “Ozark” Season 3, which debuted March 27 to the best reviews of the series so far. The season ended in bloodshed as crime lord Navarro murdered lawyer Helen Pierce in front of Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney, respectively). The show now heads into Season 4 with the Byrde family firmly under the grasp of a criminal empire. The only problem is that Netflix has yet to greenlight the next season of “Ozark,” although based on the show’s popularity it’s most likely a no-brainer. Bateman said the cast and crew have every intention of continuing.

“There is not an official pickup for Season 4,” Bateman said to Collider. “We’re all operating under the hope it will happen. It’s Netflix’s norm to wait for a show to premiere and collect the data for weeks two, three, and four and see if there’s an audience there to justify an additional season. So, I guess we’re in that period right now. But, I know [showrunner] Chris Mundy and his team are hard at work figuring out what that fourth season would be if that official pick-up lands.”

Bateman said he is clueless about the show’s longevity beyond a third season, although he guesses the show is about midway through its run or just past the midpoint of its story. The actor said Mundy “never really got fully pregnant with the finish line. He kind of knew, I think, where he would like to eventually [end the show], but didn’t have a specific runway mapped out.” Bateman said it’s long been presumed the show would run “three seasons, four seasons, five seasons, something like that.” If that’s the case, “Ozark” has one or two seasons left to run. The cast joined the show knowing it was not a limited series of 10 episodes and that it would go longer than 20 episodes, but the exact season total remains to be locked in.

“If you keep going for a whole lot longer, you’re going to go over the cliff, or up over the peak of the mountain and you end up jumping the shark,” Bateman said. “So, given the intelligence of Marty Byrde and Wendy Byrde, if they keep going at this pitch for much longer, they’re either going to be killed or put in jail. The alternative is to flatten out that pitch so that you don’t end up jumping the shark, but then you start stalling just for additional episodes and seasons. So, I’m not sure where and when it’ll end, but given their intelligence, it doesn’t feel like it’s a 12-season show.”

The first three seasons of “Ozark” are now streaming on Netflix. Head over to Collider’s website to read Bateman’s interview in its entirety.

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