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Ozark Creator Bill Dubuque's Next Project Is A Major Departure

For years, Netflix subscribers have enjoyed a true treat with the Jason Bateman-starring crime drama, "Ozark." The "Arrested Development" and "Game Night" star has led the cast as Marty Byrde, a financial advisor who moves his family to the Lake of the Ozarks so he can launder money for a vicious Mexican drug cartel. But the family's move quickly draws the attention of various other crime families, and their situation quickly becomes more desperate. The series has been met with widespread acclaim, and it has an 86% critic rating next to a 90% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

All good things must come to an end, though, and the show is reaching its finish line with the second part of Season 4, which is set to arrive on the streaming service on April 29, 2022. The first part ended with an incredibly tense stand-off between Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) against Marty and his wife Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) — so fans are eager to find out what happens in the final seven episodes.

It's sad to see "Ozark" come to an end after its thrilling and unforgettable five-year run, but thankfully for fans, creator Bill Dubuque is already moving onto his next project. If you were expecting him to follow up "Ozark" with a similar project, though — or a spin-off ala "Better Call Saul," — well, get ready for a major departure from what audiences might have anticipated.

Bill Dubuque's next project is an animated neo-noir folktale

It would be easy to assume that Bill Dubuque would move onto yet another crime drama for Netflix — or any other streaming service — but his next project is going to look a little different. His screenplay, "The Night Gardner," has been picked up by the LAIKA animation studio — which is responsible for gorgeously animated movies like "Coraline," "Kubo and the Two Strings," and "Missing Link." Details are currently sparse, but for right now, the studio says that the film is a dark, noir-themed tale about a Mississippi man experiencing a great tragedy that puts his family to the test.

Dubuque noted that he's excited to see what LAIKA does with his story, before also praising the animators for their dedication to their craft. "I'm delighted that Travis Knight saw in 'The Night Gardener' a story worthy of the time-intensive process and collective talent of LAIKA's in-house artisans. LAIKA's creativity and dedication to detail is, in my opinion, as close as one can come to conjuring storytelling magic."

Meanwhile, LAIKA co-founder and director Travis Knight gushed about Dubuque's screenplay, saying "The Night Gardener is a beautiful and timeless story that quickens the pulse as often as it breaks the heart. Bill is a masterful storyteller. He's crafted a lyrical world layered with complex characters, provocative ideas, and keenly felt emotion. It's gonna be one helluva movie." 

The news also came with the moody first look at the film, which shows flowers covered in blood next to a bullet shell. It looks like violence and beauty will go hand-in-hand whenever "The Night Gardner" eventually arrives on our screens.