Chris Mundy Interview: ‘Ozark’ showrunner
“There’s hints at the endgame as early as season two,” teases showrunner Chris Mundy in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above) about “Ozark,” which Netflix recently renewed for its final season. After three seasons of 10 episodes each, the crime drama starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney will return for two seven-episode blocks that will together comprise the fourth season. Shooting is set to begin November 9; producers are presently seeking the premiere’s director.
The 11th episode is currently being broken by the writing staff over Zoom calls. Mundy says about whether the blocks will feel more like two short seasons or one long one, “We’re treating it in the writers’ room more as two. It is one season and episode 401 is even going to be a flash-forward most likely into something that comes deeper.” He continues, “Because people are going to experience it in two halves, we want to feel like episode 407 ends in a certain way and episode 408 begins in a certain way that respects the fact that people are going to watch it months and months apart.” He adds about how the mid-season finale will lead into the mid-season premiere, “We won’t have a gigantic time jump because of that — because technically it is one season, so we want to keep it whole.”
“Ozark” has 18 Emmy nominations for its third season, on two of which Mundy is credited: Best Drama Series as its executive producer and Best Drama Writing for scripting the finale. He laughs about the game side of these awards, “It’s exciting; it’s nerve-wracking. Last year, everyone was going on the assumption that ‘Game of Thrones’ was going to win, so you could enjoy it because it was, ‘Oh good, it’s a foregone conclusion.’ This one — it will probably be a tiny bit more nerve-wracking, but mostly, it’s just great. I’m so glad people like the show.”
A popular part of the show this year was the new character Ben Davis, played by Tom Pelphrey. “We actually talked a lot about bringing him in season two originally,” reveals Mundy. He continues, “We ultimately felt like we had so much story that it was going to get clogged and so, we waited to introduce him in season three.” Mundy says while speaking about other altered story lines, “There was a whole thing in season two about Cade running a chop shop of boats that we started and then didn’t have the room for and then shot a couple things, so it’s dangling out there.” Mundy also shares that the scene that reveals why Three is the first name of the character played by Carson Holmes was cut from the series’ second episode, but the explanation has been scripted again for early in the upcoming season.