Jason Bateman is heading back to television. Per Deadline, the Arrested Development star and burgeoning filmmaker has signed on to executive produce, direct, and star in a new drama series called Ozark for MRC and Aggregate, which will take place the Missouri Ozarks and revolve around “the dark and dangerous world of drug money laundering.” While it’s not set up at a network just yet, the report notes that the project will be shopped around to premium cable and digital outlets soon, meaning it doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing Ozark on ABC or CBS.
Bateman is developing the series with screenwriter/creator Bill Dubuque (The Judge), and the plan is to start production in spring 2016. By being involved as the show’s principal director, Bateman will be a significant creative voice in developing the vision for the series going forward.
The comedic actor has been dipping further into directing as of late, making his debut with the indie comedy Bad Words and then opting for the tonally ambitious The Family Fang as his follow-up. I caught Fang at the Toronto International Film Festival a few weeks ago and it’s a solid sophomore effort. What’s most impressive is that instead of choosing another comedy or something more straightforward for his second time directing, Bateman went with a very difficult adaptation of a peculiar novel, tackling a very specific, dryly humorous and dramatic tone. You can read my full review of the film here.
So given Bateman’s ambitious nature, it kind of makes sense that for his next project, he’s spearheading a drama series set in the Ozark Mountains. As the project coalesces I imagine we’ll hear where it ends up soon. Place your bets on Netflix, HBO, Amazon, or FX.