Jason Bateman Says ‘Ozark’ Ending ‘Wasn’t Mapped Out at All’

by Taylor Cunningham

From the very start of Ozark, the fate of the Bryde family was completely up in the air, and as star Jason Bateman revealed, that is exactly why the show came to a perfect close this year.

When the series opened in 2017, the cast and crew had no idea where the Brydes would end up. Marty’s crimes only just affected his wife and children. And eventually, they all joined in. But how and where that would lead was a guess for everyone.

While the uncertainty of the plot may have bothered some stars who may have thought knowing the end would help their performance, Bateman liked the freedom of not knowing. Because that way, the story could play out more organically.

In an interview with Variety, the 53-year-old star admitted that there were no set amount of seasons for Ozark when Netflix picked it up. And thanks to that, creators Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams could “react to the actors and the characters and the audience and see what storylines and what characters are getting attention and which ones aren’t working.”

“Then you adjust accordingly,” he added.

Jason Bateman Reveals that the ‘Ozark’ Ending Soley Come From the Mind of Showrunner Chris Mundy

Ozarks, of course, came to a close this year. And out of all the endings we were imagining, what we got was a surprise. The family did work out their differences, but the newfound connection came at a price. And one of our favorite characters, Ruth, met her end, though she went on a strange and bittersweet note.

“Chris [Mundy] was really passionate about making sure that, if we’re going to kill a beloved character, we better do it in a way that fans of that character can feel good about,” Bateman told Vanity Fair.

According to Bateman, he and all the other stars also started thinking up endless endings to the tale when they learned that the series would wrap up. And doing so brought up so many options. For example, he and Williams couldn’t decide if “the Byrdes pay a bill or not.” And he noted that Laura Linney also came up with an alternate conclusion that they floated for a while.

But ultimately, everyone agreed that writer and executive producer Chris Mundy should have the privilege of closing the final chapter.

“He was really excited about coming up with a happy ending but adding some sort of smudge on it,” Bateman added, “There’s something sticky about it. Because once we fade to black, we see that they got away with it but at what cost?”