Jason Bateman Suddenly Exited His 'Ozark' Follow-up Project

Jason Bateman has backed out of one of his biggest projects since the end of his Netflix series, Ozark. Deadline reported that Bateman will no longer direct Artemis, which stars Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. As for the reason behind his exit, creative differences are reportedly to blame. 

Bateman was brought on as the director of the project. However, both he and These Pictures, the production company behind Artemis, agreed to part ways amicably. The two sides reportedly remain on good terms and are looking forward to collaborating on a different project in the future. There isn't too much that is known about Artemis, but the film will be set against the space race. In addition to starring in the movie, Johansson is also producing with Jonathan Lia and Keenan Flynn through their These Pictures production company. 

As previously mentioned, Bateman most recently appeared in the fourth and final season of Ozark on Netflix. The series also starred Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Sofia Hublitz, and Skylar Gaertner. Bateman not only starred in the show, but he also produced and directed. Ozark was one of the most popular shows on Netflix, which likely made some fans question why the show was ending after Season 4. But, years before the series finale, it was reported that the show would be ending after four seasons

"We're so happy Netflix recognized the importance of giving Ozark more time to end the Byrdes saga right," Chris Mundy, Ozark's showrunner, said in June 2020 when the news was announced. "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." Ahead of Season 4, Bateman also spoke about the end of the series. 

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According to the Arrested Development alum, they wanted the show to end before it reached the dreaded point of "jumping the shark." He told Collider, "So, given the intelligence of Marty Byrde and Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney), 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 season."