Don’t worry, fans of The OA. Season 2 is still on its way.
Brit Marling, the Netflix show’s co-creator, star, and writer, knows her public has been waiting patiently for any updates since a renewal was announced in February 2017 and filming was said to begin this past January. So she posted a very long and admittedly “granular” explanation of why the process takes so long and her ambitious plans for a new kind of storytelling.
Fans can read Marling’s full response on Instagram, but in the spirit of brevity, the superstar of the indie film realm says The OA doesn’t adhere to the rules of formatting or release as other TV shows.
It’s not a product of the “pattern narrative” where multiple writing teams continue the pattern started by the showrunner in the pilot. “Our chapters vary in length, scope, and even genre,” Marling writes. “There is no pattern. As a result, at every step along the way nothing can be imitated, it has to be invented.”
The same goes for budgets and editing. “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,” she explains. “Once she cracked one chapter’s budget, she couldn’t apply that code to the next to save time.”
It’s also not adapted from previous material, “so we are drawing from just our imaginations every time we go to write a new part, and this takes time,” Marling adds. “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.”
Season 1 of The OA premiered on Netflix Dec. 16, 2016 with an intriguing concept involving the return of a missing girl, near-death experiences, mysterious underground experiments, and one mind-boggling cliffhanger ending.
“Some people thought of Part I of The OA as a long film,” Marling writes. “If you look at it from that perspective [co-creator] Zal [Batmanglij] 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!” Marling sees the series 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.” That means she and Batmanglii “are learning every day how to best function in a completely new space with little production precedent.”
There’s no info yet on when The OA: Part II will premiere, but Marling promises her team works to make something “worthy of all your encouragement and enthusiasm for this story.”