Netflix’s bloodthirsty mob family is back. The fourth season of Netflix’s hit show Ozark is scheduled to begin shooting in November. Production had shut down due to COVID-19 and now the show plans to proceed with extreme caution according to Indiewire.
Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) who portrays Marty Byrde–a man working for a Mexican drug cartel–revealed that filming for Ozark’s fourth season will begin on November 9. But, as Ozark optimistically plans to start carefully shooting the new season, things will be different because of COVID-19. Bateman, the show’s star and Emmy Award winning director, was scheduled to direct the fourth season’s first two episodes, just like he’d done for the previous three seasons. But, that will no longer be the case this year. Explaining the reasoning behind it, Bateman said to Indiewire: “The producer side of me made me think it’s just not responsible to have one of the actors direct the first two, given that we’re still going to be getting our perimeter safe…Because if one of the actors gets sick, we all have to go home for weeks…” This comes after Bateman won an Emmy Award for Best Direction in a Drama Series last year for Ozark.
The ability to begin production and filming during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be difficult since it was halted in March 2020. The set will be a closely monitored environment but once the cast and crew leave for the day and have contact with friends and family, the possibility of contracting COVID-19 is likely according to Bateman via Indiewire. The show is required to write out plans and protocols to work safely amidst a pandemic which then must be reviewed and given the green light before they can begin production on the highly anticipated fourth and final season.
This news comes after Netflix announced in June that this would be Ozark’s last and final season. The season three finale was a shocker with many fans clamoring for more. The series final season will consist of fourteen episodes separated into two parts. This is longer than usual with prior seasons all having ten episode arcs. Many fans were surprised and disappointed as Ozark surged in viewership when its third season was released in March during a nationwide shutdown. The third season was met with critical praise as well and is nominated for several awards at the upcoming Emmy Awards. Bateman is nominated for Best Actor in a Drama Series along with the show being nominated in several other categories including Best Drama Series, Best Actress, and Writing.