JASON Bateman has resigned as the director of the final season of Ozark amid social distancing issues on the set of the hit Netflix series.
The Golden Globe-winning actor has been an integral part of the show from the very beginning, but he will step down behind the camera.
The streaming giant’s original series stars Bateman as Marty Byrde, a savvy money launderer who manages to overcome obstacle after obstacle while working for the murderous Navarro cartel.
And while Bateman may be the face of Ozark for fans, he also played a major role behind the scenes of all three seasons as an executive producer and director of numerous episodes.
However, due to the filming protocols implemented in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the 51-year-old actor will focus solely on acting in the fourth and final season.
The Hollywood star said, “As usual, I was going to (direct) the first two episodes. But as we went through the protocols, guidelines, all the complications with COVID, the producer side of me got me thinking that it is just not responsible to have one of the actors to lead the first two, given that we will still be securing our perimeter,
“Because if one of the actors gets sick, we all have to go home for weeks.
“If any of the crew members get sick – while I’m making sure their pay is protected while they’re in quarantine – we can hire a replacement.
“So it didn’t feel smart to (lead) the first two.”
Also starring Laura Linney and Julia Garner, the series has kept fans enthralled throughout.
Fans have said season three was the best yet – hailing it “better than Breaking Bad” after a “jaw-dropping” finale.
the season three finale was no exception, with Marty trying to get the FBI to take down a rival drug cartel led by Navarro (Felix Solis).
However, he ends up on a plane to Mexico with Wendy (Linney) and Navarro’s attorney, Helen (Janet McTeer) to attend the christening of the drug cartel’s son.
A few minutes after landing, Helen is shot in the head by one of Navarro’s henchmen, before the criminal kisses Marty and Wendy and declares: “This is the beginning”.
Viewers were as stunned by the shock as the couple were, and took to Twitter to praise the show’s high-octane drama.
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One of them wrote: “#Ozark season 3! What a breathtaking ending! Breaking bad who?”
A second tweeted, “I really enjoy Ozark, AKA Breaking Bad, account editing. Likeable characters than BB.”
A third agreed, writing, “Look at Ozark. It’s like Breaking Bad but more money laundering less drugs.”
Meanwhile, a fourth added, “Ozark is the best thing that has happened to Netflix since it got bad.”