Ozark interview: Jason Bateman reveals punishing editing schedule for dark new Netflix show

Tom Butler
UK Movies Editor

Most movies enjoy a luxurious post-production schedule, many allowing 6 months to a year between wrapping the shoot and releasing the film, but Jason Bateman’s new Netflix show ‘Ozark’ was subjected to a much more brutal schedule.

Bateman, who stars in every episode of the dark crime thriller, as well as directing 4 of the 10 episodes, says he had just four days to edit each instalment.

“The post-production [on ‘Ozark’] was challenging,” he explains to Yahoo Movies.

“Only because you don’t get as much time in television as you do when you’re directing a film. For a film – that’s 2 hours of content – and as a director, you get 10 weeks to edit that.”

“With 1 hour of television, you get 4 days.”

Jason Bateman’s criminal career takes a dark turn in ‘Ozark’ (Netflix)

In ‘Ozark’ Bateman plays Marty Byrde, a money launderer for a Mexican cartel, that relocates his family from Chicago to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to pursue a new avenue of business in the “redneck riveria”.

The ‘Arrested Development’ star directed the first, and last, 2 episodes of the series, which is available to stream on Netflix now, a challenge he admits required a lot of discipline on set.

“You’ve got to make sure that you’ve shot only the things that you’re gonna use, so I had to adapt a bit to that. But it was all worth it because I got to have my arms around the whole thing and just be very specific about what I delivered to the audience.”

FBI Agent Evans pursues Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s seemingly normal family to the Ozarks (Netflix)

This is Bateman’s biggest directing gig to date, and his first real foray into serious drama. Having directed a number of TV episodes in the past (including the hilarious ‘Arrested Development’ episode ‘Afternoon Delight’), he’s also helmed two movies – ‘Bad Words’ and ‘The Family Fang’.

‘Ozark’ is much darker in tone and feels in many ways it feels like a natural successor to ‘Breaking Bad’, but Bateman hopes his new show will emerge from that ‘crime in the suburbs’ show’s shadow to become a hit in its own right.

“I hope we’re half as successful [as ‘Breaking Bad’]. There’s definitely a different feel and tone to the show, that’s something I spent a lot of time trying to dial in [on], because I felt that was important; to build a world where all the stuff would make sense and belong.”

‘Ozark’ is available to stream exclusively on Netflix now.


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