Arrested Development star Jason Bateman has reportedly departed his role as director in the Scarlett Johansson led movie Artemis. No official reason has been given at this time, but according to Deadline, Bateman left amicably due to “creative differences”. The actor recently completed the fourth series of Ozark, and is busy working on other projects.
Johansson is still attached to Artemis and is also producing the film alongside Jonathan Lia and Keenan Flynn through their These Pictures production company. The film will also star Chris Evans, who is now riding a creative high based on his connection to the Avengers franchise.
Bateman is probably best known for his starring turn as Michael on Arrested Development, a bouncy pastoral comedy that detailed the lives of the Bluth family, a collection of WASP-like millionaires clinging onto their fortune with all of their might. Bateman’s more naturalistic portrayal was a very different type of beast to the more animal-like characters Will Arnett and David Cross performed.
The show was picked up by Netflix in 2012, although it was reported that Jessica Walter had a strained working relationship with Jeffrey Tambor. Walter claimed that nobody had spoken to her as aggressively during the making of Arrested Development as Tambor had done to her, but Bateman reckons it was an example of creative relationships going awry.
In a 2022 interview, Bateman reiterated that his memories were extremely positive of the show. Considering Walter’s recent death, it’s doubtful that the show will be revived for a sixth season. Bateman believes the success of Arrested Development stems from the fact that it’s perceived as a comedy by the audience, but something harder-edged and more realistic by the cast in question. To them, it’s their everyday life.
“This is not funny to anybody inside the show,” Bateman claims. “This is a drama to them. Almost like an animal documentary, where you’re watching these freaks, and how they gather their food, and how they make their house. And let’s make sure we all whisper because we don’t want these folks to know how much we’re laughing at them.”