If a remake of the comedy classic Clue had to be made, it seemed like pairing Ryan Reynolds up with co-star and director Jason Bateman was a good idea. Hot on the heels of winning an Emmy for directing the Netflix series Ozark, Bateman entered talks to direct 20th Century Studios’ Clue remake last fall. In February 2020, however, it was announced that Bateman was no longer attached to the project and James Bobin (Alice Through the Looking Glass) entered talks to take the helm instead.
So what happened? Collider’s own Steve Weintraub asked Bateman that question during a recent exclusive interview about the actor, producer, and filmmaker’s work on Ozark Season 3. Bateman explained that he was forced to drop out of Clue when it became clear that the time commitment to the project wouldn’t work within the constraints of his Ozark schedule:
“[Clue is] something that we were getting very close to starting, but as it turned out something of that size takes much, much longer to do than what the seasonal hiatus was able to accommodate. It would have pushed back the start of this season too far. So unfortunately I had to step off of that.”
Bateman noted that if Clue is still in development once Ozark is all done, he’d be more than happy to return to the project, and it sounds like the Bad Words and Family Fang filmmaker is eager to tackle a big feature film in the future:
“But if it’s still around when Ozark is all wrapped up, I’d love to do it. But who knows, they might put a different director on it before then. We’ll see. Unfortunately my ability to direct features really kind of—there’s a certain size of a film that I just can’t qualify for [right now] because of the amount of time that I’m able to give in prep, in shooting, and in post.”
Ozark has yet to be renewed for a fourth season, but as one of Netflix’s most popular series that renewal is expected to happen sooner rather than later. Bateman serves as a director on that show so he gets to take the helm on the small screen, but having seen his talent only grow—especially on HBO’s The Outsider this year—I’m excited to eventually see him work on a much larger project.
Look for more from our interview with Bateman on Collider soon.