In Case You're Wondering Why Season 2 of Netflix's Sci-Fi Series THE OA is Taking So Long, Brit Marling Explains


Netflix’s sci-fi series The OA was quite a crazy, unique, and intense viewing experience. It was very strange and it introduced some interesting story themes, characters and elements.

The end of the series definitely left me wanting more and we know a Season 2 is in development, but it seems like it’s taking a very long time to get made. After all, it’s been two years since the series ended and we haven’t heard anything about it… until today.

Co-creator and star Brit Marling shared a lengthy Instagram post explaining why the second season is taking so long to get made. In the process, she does confirm that she and co-creator Zal Batmanglij recently finished sound mixing the second season.

She gives an in-depth explanation of the process of creating a fresh and original idea for TV and how those kinds of projects take longer to produce. She explains, “Our chapters vary in length, scope, and even genre. There is no pattern. As a result, at every step along the way nothing can be imitated, it has to be invented.”

The OA follows a young woman named Prairie Johnson, who returns home after a 7-year disappearance. “Her sudden return is not the only miraculous occurrence: everyone is shocked to learn that Prairie is no longer blind. While the FBI and her parents are anxious to discuss Prairie's disappearance, she won't talk about what happened during the time that she was missing.”

If you’ve seen Season one, you know that this story falls deep into a rabbit hole of craziness. I have no idea what to expect from Season 2, but I can’t wait to see how the story of the characters that were introduced pan out.

Read what Marling had to say below and let us know what you think.

Fans of the OA –

Many of you have been asking “why is Part II taking so long?” Because the OA is categorized as a TV show this is a very fair question! Let me try to give an answer that honors the question:

(Warning — this is gonna get granular!)

TV shows are created on a yearly cycle primarily because they function off of a pattern narrative. The show creator acts as a master tailor — she crafts the pattern for the original garment (pilot). Then other great tailors come in and create new garments out of this same pattern. This allows for creation with great speed and also familiarity, which is one of the things we all love about great TV.

In addition, many TV shows are adapted from previously written material (novels, comics, foreign TV shows). This allows the writers to work quickly adapting the story for the screen rather than having to create characters and a world or plot from scratch. Finally, most TV shows leap-frog their production cycle. The writers’ room writes 3-4 episodes and then another team begins shooting those episodes while other writers continue writing.

The OA doesn’t function this way. Our chapters vary in length, scope, and even genre. There is no pattern. As a result, every step along the way nothing can be imitated, it has to be invented. For example, our producer on Part II had to throw out the “pattern budgets” the industry normally works with because each chapter required completely different resources to achieve scripts of different lengths, casts, and ambitions. Once she cracked on chapter’s budget she couldn’t apply that code to the next to save time. The same is true for editing — an editor may solve how best to cut chapter 3, but that learning curve doesn’t apply to chapter 5, which is a completely different genre of storytelling.

We also aren’t an adaptation. So we are drawing from just our imaginations every time we go to write a new part, and this takes time. Finally, because I’m both the lead actor and a lead writer we can’t leap-frog the production. We have to write all eight chapters up front before we can begin shooting the first chapter.

Some people thought of Part I of The OA as a long film. If you look at it from that perspective Zal and I write and create an 8-hour film every 2 years. That’s pretty fast considering most 2-hour films take at least 2 years to make!

But the truth is, these days, we’ve been thinking of The OA as neither film nor TV, but as some new kind of storytelling that has only just become possible because of internet-streaming technology and a partner like Netflix that is genuinely interested in trying new things inside narrative. We are learning every day how to best function in a completely new space with little production precedent.

Forgive the longwinded reply — I just realized that there is no way for of this to be evident if not shared by the people inside these new modes of storytelling. I can’t say when Part II’s release date will be just yet. I can only poise you that we go to work every day in the post house and work as hard as we can to make something that feels worthy of all the time and talent our collaborators have poured into Part II, and worthy of all your encouragement and enthusiasm for this story.

Thank you for being patient and being kind. Your goodwill gives us the energy to keep going. We just finished soundmixing chapter 2 yesterday so it is COMING!! We are going to do our best to let you more inside the process in the coming weeks… — B.

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