Jason Bateman Addresses Wild Ozark And Arrested Development Character Theories

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Jason Bateman Addresses Wild Ozark And Arrested Development Character Theories
Jason Bateman Addresses Wild Ozark And Arrested Development Character Theories (Alamy)

In the American comedy series Arrested Development, which first aired in 2003, 53-year-old Jason Bateman took on the role of Michael Bluth.

In Netflix original Ozark, which first hit screens in 2017, Bateman plays the role of Marty Byrde.

However, viewers of the two shows are convinced the characters share more than their initials, and have been worked up into a frenzy over the similarities between the two. A number of fan theories have since grown online, questioning whether or not the men, plots and even shows themselves are subsequently connected.


Now, Bateman has responded to the speculation.

In Ozark, Bateman's character Marty is a financial advisor who becomes embroiled in a money-laundering scheme, which implicates not just him, but also his family.

In Arrested Development, the actor's role as Michael sees him star, once more, as the show's protagonist and battle against similar issues featured in Ozark, such as fraud and money problems.


Fans have drawn parallels between Bateman's two roles, and have suggested that not only could the two characters be the same person, but that Ozark even features Easter eggs for Arrested Development.

Bateman has since addressed such speculation, telling The Guardian that while he can neither confirm or deny such claims, he could admit that both characters had 'similar blind spots'. Fan theories also suggest Michael Bluth is actually Marty Byrde in a witness protection scheme.

He said: 'Their arrogance and hubris leads to early decisions. Perhaps they should think a little bit longer about what they do.'

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Bateman explained that while acting in Arrested Development, he was 'not too far removed from drama', and that when he played the role of Marty in Ozark, he's 'not too far from comedy'.

'In a drama, I’m not the person with a knife, I’m the person getting chased. In a comedy, I’m not the person farting, I’m the person who smelled it,' he concluded.

In July 2020, Ozark received an impressive 18 nominations at the Emmys, including both Lead Actor and Actress for Bateman and co-star Laura Linney, Outstanding Drama series, and Supporting Actress for Julia Garner.


The most recent season, the show's fourth, is now available to watch via Netflix, with its initial half comprising of seven episodes having first been made available on January 21.

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Poppy Bilderbeck

Poppy Bilderbeck is a Junior Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2021 with a First in English Literature and Drama, where alongside her studies she was Editor-in-Chief of The Tab Manchester. She currently runs the mental health column for UNILAD, and is such a crisp fanatic that the office has now been forced to release them in batches.

Topics: Film & TV, Netflix, Film and TV