- Netflix has announced a 14-episode, two-part fourth season of Ozark, which will be the series’ last.
- It’s still unknown when the season will be released (or enter production) due to the ongoing COVID-19 delays.
- Jason Bateman says he’s “excited to end with a bang(s).”
The third season of Ozark was the show’s best yet—explosive ending included. With two seasons under its belt to establish who Marty Byrde, Wendy Byrde, Ruth Langmore, and the rest of the gang are as characters, the third season allowed the show to really settle in and tell a thrilling, exciting, and well-paced crime story, and the show’s cast and crew were rewarded with 18 Emmy nominations at the 2020 ceremony, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor, and Outstanding Lead Actress.
Sadly, Netflix has officially announced that the next season of Ozark will be its last. The fourth season, which will be 14 episodes and split into two different 7-part runs (similar to what Breaking Bad and Mad Men did at the end of their runs), will wrap the series up. Jason Bateman, who not only stars as Marty Byrde but also is an executive producer of the show and directs a number of episodes in each season, said in Netflix’s statement that he’s eager for what’s to come. “A super sized season means super sized problems for the Byrdes,” he said. “I’m excited to end with a bang(s).”
Months before the official announcement, Bateman spoke to Collider, and hinted that the show would be entering the home stretch. Bateman said in the interview that he’s always operated under the idea that Ozark would run for “three seasons, four seasons, five seasons, something like that,” and that “it doesn’t feel like it’s a 12-season show.”
Fans shouldn’t be upset about this—it’s always better for a show to choose its own ending and go out on its own terms than the alternatives, which typically include abrupt cancellation (which would mean no ending at all) or being strung out for far too long, until the show is a shell of what made it so good in the first place.
Still, no one has any realistic idea on what a timeline for the fourth season might look like. While a typical break between seasons for the show has been between a year and a year and a half, a likely delay in filming due to the COVID-19 pandemic could push that delay back even further. The good news, though, is that the writing and planning processes aren’t necessarily be affected; the bad news is that filming, as of now, is essentially impossible. We’ll continue to update this space as we learn more.
Will there be a fourth season of Ozark?
Yes. Netflix announced in an official statement that Ozark would wrap up with a supersized, 14-episode, two-part, final season (previous seasons have been 10 episodes each).
“We’re so happy Netflix recognized the importance of giving Ozark more time to end the Byrdes’ saga right,” executive producer and showrunner Chris Mundy said in Netflix’s statement. “It’s been such a great adventure for all of us—both on screen and off—so we’re thrilled to get the chance to bring it home in the most fulfilling way possible.”
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Back in that Collider interview, Bateman revealed months earlier that Mundy was already plotting out a fourth season.
“I know [showrunner] Chris Mundy and his team are hard at work figuring out what that fourth season would be if that official pick-up lands,” he said.
Who will be in the fourth season’s cast?
We don’t know which new characters could be added for a potential third season. But given the way the third season closed out, we can expect to see many of the regulars return once again.
Netflix’s official announcement said that Bateman (as Marty Byrde), Laura Linney (as Wendy Byrde), Julia Garner (as Ruth Langmore), Sofia Hublitz (as Charlotte Byrde), Skylar Gaertner (as Jonah Byrde), Charlie Tahan (as Wyatt Langmore), and Lisa Emery (as Darlene Snell) would all be returning. We haven’t had any word yet on Jessica Frances Dukes (who plays Special Agent Maya Miller) or Felix Solis (who plays drug lord Omar Navarro), but given the way Season 3 ended, we have to imagine they’ll be involved.
Ozark was never imagined as a show that would last forever.
As Bateman alluded in that same Collider interview, Ozark has never been intended as a show that would last for a decade or anywhere close. If his idea of 3-4-5 seasons for Ozark becomes reality, that means that a fourth season, theoretically could be the end—or at least could begin to set up the end.
“If you keep going for a whole lot longer, you’re going to go over the cliff, or up over the peak of the mountain and you end up jumping the shark,” he said. “So, given the intelligence of Marty Byrde and Wendy Byrde, if they keep going at this pitch for much longer, they’re either going to be killed or put in jail. The alternative is to flatten out that pitch so that you don’t end up jumping the shark, but then you start stalling just for additional episodes and seasons. So, I’m not sure where and when it’ll end, but given their intelligence, it doesn’t feel like it’s a 12-season show.”
Filming of a potential fourth season will be delayed.
While the show is called, yes, Ozark, it’s not actually filmed in the titular Ozarks. In reality, those local woods and big lakes you’ve seen in the show’s first three seasons have all actually been in Georgia. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia has actually bene one of the first states to ease restrictions; that being said, according to Deadline Netflix, among other production companies, will not be moving forward at the time being until it can be assured of a safe experience for all on set.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, said that while the state may have eased restrictions, his company wouldn’t be moving forward until rigorous testing “We have to be able to look our employees and cast and crew in the eyes and say, ‘This is a safe place to work’,” he said on an earnings call. The report also said that the company, which also films Stranger Things in Georgia, is working closely with production partners and local governments to assess the situation as it continues to develop.
When will the fourth Season of Ozark come out?
It’s difficult to predict when a fourth season of Ozark could come out due to the ongoing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we can operate based on previous schedules, and also assume that the show, at least as of now, is writing on a usual schedule, since they wouldn’t be in production right now anyway.
The first two seasons had late summer releases in 2017 and 2018, while the third season waited a bit longer for a late winter/early spring 2020 release. Based on this, it would be reasonable to expect a fourth season of Ozark in Spring 2021 at the earliest, but with production so uncertain for everything going forward, you’ll have to take that with a grain of salt.
Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.
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