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Netflix releases trailer for mysterious new series ‘The OA,’ which debuts Friday

Writer and actress Brit Marling first caught the attention of Hollywood with her fantastic, under-the-radar 2011 drama Another Earth and her 2012 faux documentary Sound Of My Voice, and her next project appears to channel some of the same understated sci-fi themes — but in a very different sort of format.

Netflix released the first trailer for Marling’s upcoming original series The OA this week, and the eight-part project promises to explore some heavy philosophical concepts while following the story of a blind girl who returns with her sight restored years after her mysterious disappearance.

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Scheduled to premiere this month on the streaming video service, The OA is directed by Marling’s frequent collaborator, director Zal Batmanglij, who directed her in Sound of my Voice and the 2013 drama The East.

Described by Netflix as “a powerful, mind-bending tale about identity, human connection, and the borders between life and death,” The OA was co-produced by Netflix and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, as well as Marling, Batmanglij, and True Detective producer Anonymous Content.

Promising to “upend notions about what long-format stories can be,” the series remains a relatively secretive production, with little known about the plot beyond what we see see in the trailer. It’s unknown whether the series is envisioned as a multiseason project or a stand-alone, single-season arc.

Along with Marling in the lead role, the series’ cast also includes Emory Cohen, Scott Wilson, Phyllis Smith, Jason Isaacs, Alice Krige, Patrick Gibson, Brendan Meyer, Ian Alexander, and Brandon Perea.

The first season of The OA will premiere in full December 16 on Netflix.