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Jason Bateman and Julia Garner Debunk ‘Ozark’ Finale Fan Theories, Pitch Ideas for Spinoff

The Emmy-winning stars and writer Chris Mundy attended a recent FYC event, and told moderator Jimmy Kimmel a spinoff would need "ghosts."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 05: (L-R) Chris Mundy, Jason Bateman and Julia Garner speak onstage at FYSEE Ozark ATAS Official with Netflix at Raleigh Studios Hollywood on June 05, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

Chris Mundy, Jason Bateman and Julia Garner at the FYSEE ‘Ozark’ event.

Courtesy of Netflix / Charley Gallay for Getty

[Editor’s Note: The following article contains spoilers for “Ozark” Season 4, Part 2, including the ending in the series finale.]

History has proven that when a series finale fades to black, there’s going to be some fans trying their hardest to figure out what it all means. However, “Ozark” creator Chris Mundy felt the final moment of the popular Netflix drama was, to him, “pretty unambiguous.”

While some fans believe young Jonah (Skylar Gaertner), son of lakeside criminal kingpins Marty and Wendy Byrde (Jason Bateman and Laura Linney), shot down the cookie jar full of incriminating evidence, Mundy said “I think he shot Mel [the cop], and Mel is dead. And I think they went to their crematorium, just off screen.”

Moderator Jimmy Kimmel, who was interviewing the showrunner alongside “Ozark” stars Jason Bateman and Julia Garner, editor Cindy Mollo, production designer David Bomba, music supervisor Gabe Hilfer, and cinematographer Shawn Kim for the show’s FYC event in Los Angeles on Sunday, joked that Mundy would know about that better than anybody, and added “I’m glad you’re not playing coy about this [like] ‘Well, that’s for you, the viewer, to decide,’ and then 14 years later you go ‘Yeah, that’s what happened.’”

Playfully throwing in his interpretation of the ending, Bateman, who also directed the episode, said the gun the young man was holding “was probably a buckshot too, so the cookie jar went down as well. There’s a lot of spray on that.”

With the specifics of the show’s final moment settled among the cast and crew, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host turned the conversation over to what the next iteration of the Emmy-winning crime drama could be. Pitches for the sitcom spin-off included “Meet The Byrdes” and “Byrde Watching.”

In all seriousness, Mundy did tell Kimmel that he thinks the show’s central family will “run the Midwest, and in some ways, they’re going to have the political clout to dictate national politics,” when asked what he thinks the characters will be doing five years from where the show last sees them.

As for audiences ever seeing that play out in a future project, Mundy said “There’s no plan at the moment for there to be a movie.” He further explained, “It’s going to really sink in soon that we’re not working together anymore. And there’s a sadness in that. So, I don’t think any of us would ever say no to anything, but there’s no [follow-up] being written. I know that.” Bateman then noted that if they were to bring the show back in some way, “It would have to be something that would allow for ghosts, because we’ve got a lot of them we’d want back.”

Number one on the list of who’d be summoned is Ruth Langmore, the irascible fan-favorite character that netted Julia Garner two Emmys in a row for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. “It’s going to be like the scene in ‘Carrie,’ where maybe someone’s hand is gonna pop up,” said the actress, teasing how she would want Ruth to return.

Speaking on behalf of the show’s legions of dedicated viewers, Kimmel countered, “We’ll take anything you want to give us, really. I mean, it could even be shitty, it doesn’t really matter.”

“Ozark” Seasons 1-4 are available on Netflix.

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