‘Ozark’: Jason Bateman Came up With This Gruesome Death

Ozark is a shockingly dark Netflix series starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Janet McTeer, amongst other talented actors. As a director and producer on the show, Bateman’s job goes beyond playing Marty Byrde. In the past, Bateman has been involved in coming up with gruesome ideas for the deaths fans have seen in Ozark — including this particularly violent one.

Jason Bateman | Netflix

‘Ozark’ is one of the most violent series on Netflix 

Ozark tells the story of the Marty Byrde, a financial advisor turned money launderer for the Navarro cartel. Throughout the first season, fans witnessed all kinds of violent deaths, including electrocutions, bludgeoning, and gunshot wounds to the head. 

Seasons 2 and 3 have only introduced more violence to viewers. As a director and producer for Ozark, Bateman plays a hands-on role in shaping some of those violent deaths. 

Jason Bateman is a triple threat for ‘Ozark’ 

Bateman has directed the first two episodes in each season of Ozark. In 2019, he won the Emmy the Outstanding Director for a Drama Series for “Reparations.” This year, things will look a bit different for Bateman, who is taking a backseat to directing.

Bateman won’t be directing this time around due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“If one of the actors gets sick, we all have to go home for weeks,” he explained to IndieWire. “If one of the crew members gets sick — while I’m making sure their salary is protected while they’re in quarantine — we can hire a replacement. So it just didn’t seem smart for me to [direct] the first two [episodes].” 

Fortunately, Bateman will still be able to provide input behind the scenes — just like he did with this shocking death from season 2. 

Jason Bateman made Ash’s death more violent in ‘Ozark’

The season before, Camino Del Rio (Esai Morales) was shot in the head in the Snell’s dining room. Bateman wanted to have the Snell’s right-hand man, Ash (Michael Tourek), suffer a different fate in the same setting.

So, he came up with the idea to have Jacob Snell (Peter Mullan) whack Ash over the head with a piece of wood, then stab him in the back with a fireplace poker.

RELATED: ‘Ozark’: Will Jonah Become a Problem for the Byrde Family in the Final Season?

“Originally, it was written where [Ash] would get shot in the head,” Bateman told NPR. “[I told the writers] I’d love to come up with another way to kill this guy. And so I kind of gave it some thought and pitched to Chris Mundy, our head writer [and] showrunner, this idea.” 

Jason Bateman also came up with the best way to shoot Ash’s death scene in ‘Ozark’ 

Working with camera operator Ben Semanoff, Bateman came up with a creative way to showcase Ash’s death. 

[We wanted to] shoot it in such a way where it would feel like one take — where we would take the Steadicam and you do these sort of…whip pans, where you turn the camera so quickly from left to right or right to left that you can actually put an edit…because you’re swinging the camera so fast that can be your endpoint and your in point on the next piece.

In this way, Bateman and his fellow creators were able to capture the chaos and panic Marty and his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), felt in that scene.