After Ozark's bonkers season 3 finale, fans are anxiously waiting to see what happens next. Especially, since season 4 will be the final season of Ozark. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the stars of the Netflix series warn that fans might have to wait a little longer for Ozark's return.
In an interview with IndieWire last month, Jason Bateman, who plays money manager turned money launderer Marty Byrde, said that Netflix series plans to start production in the fall. “We’re going to start November 9,” he said. “Everything is moving well toward that, and we’re very confident in the guidelines and protocols we’re going to be following. We’ve got tons of consultants, [and] we’re learning a lot from other productions.”
The team behind Ozark has approached the impending production with "a mandate of exceeding guidelines outlined by the CDC, government officials and others," according to a statement from MCR, the production company behind Ozark. The team behind the show, which films in Georgia, is working with "unions, health officials, our consultants, and Netflix on our COVID safety guidelines and protocols."
MCR expects that their coronavirus protocols will evolve before and even after they start filming outside of Atlanta, but believe they will be able to stick to their planned schedule. "Upon approvals from our partners and the implementation of safety required in this new environment, we are targeting a November start date," MCR said in their statement to IndieWire, which reiterated that “the health and safety of our ‘Ozark’ family is our first priority."
While the COVID-19 pandemic hasn't yet delayed the show's production schedule, Bateman is prepared for the very likely possibility that it could. After an uptick in positive cases in Georgia, tied to the reopening of schools, Bateman said, “I’ll bet you we get a positive [test result] every week down there, so it’s going to be challenging."
The challenges include filming in small spaces with "ad hoc air conditioners" and crew members going home to their families who will not be under strict quarantine. "So chances are high that we’re going to have some virus come through our set — often," he said.
That's why he says preparation is key. "It will be disruptive," he said of the possibility that there will be a high rate of positive cases on set. Particularly, if Bateman or any of the show's other regulars get sick, production would be forced to halt until the actor was able to return. The Batman is currently dealing with this very scenario after its star Robert Pattinson tested positive for coronavirus.
But Bateman believes it's important to get everyone back to work while being realistic of the challenges at hand. "We're getting it as safe as we possibly can," he said. "I want to prepare for the worst but expect the best.” Fans might want to prepare themselves for the same. If production of the show gets delayed, it will likely mean that the release date will be too.
As of now, Netflix has not announced a release date for the fourth season, which will feature 14 episodes, airing in two seven-episode parts. The first two seasons aired in the summer, but season 3 started streaming in March after reportedly wrapping production in October 2019. Based on that example, it could be five months from when season 4 is done shooting before it will hit Netflix.
That might not sound great to Ozark fans, but let me try and put a positive spin on things. Viewers now have plenty of time to get all caught up with the Byrde family.