Arrested Development star Jason Bateman is returning to television as the star, executive producer and director of Ozark, a new series for MRC and Aggregate. Bateman is taking a dramatic turn with the hourlong Ozark, created by rising feature writer Bill Dubuque (The Judge). Details about the project are being kept under wraps but it’s said to take place in the dark and dangerous world of drug-money laundering. The series takes its name from the location where it is set, the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.
As director, Bateman will be very involved in establishing the creative vision for the series, working with writer Dubuque. The two executive produce with Mark Williams.
Ozark, which eyes a spring 2016 start of production, will be taken out soon by MRC to premium cable and digital outlets. The company is in the direct-to-series business, with Ozark joining MRC’s existing pay cable/digital series, Netflix’s House Of Cards, Starz’s Blunt Talk, and the upcoming The One Percent and Counterpart for Starz as well as Damian Szifron’s limited series The Stranger, which has not been shopped yet.
For the past decade, Bateman has been largely focused on features, only returning to TV to reprise his starring role on the new installment of Arrested Development for Netflix, which earned him a second Emmy nomination. Bateman’s second movie as a director, The Family Fang, in which he stars in alongside Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken, premiered to strong reviews at the Toronto Film Festival this month.
Dubuque recently sold to Universal his action-adventure pitch The Real McCoy with Chris Pratt attached to star. He also wrote next year’s The Accountant starring Ben Affleck for Warner Bros. Bateman is repped by CAA, Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorney Tom Hoberman, Dubuque is with CAA and Zero Gravity Management.