The first season of The OA was one of the more polarizing projects to come out of Netflix, earning both high praise and condemnation for its complicated, mind-bending story of a blind girl who goes missing for seven years, only to reappear with her sight restored. Despite a climactic finale that left audiences wondering if a second story arc was even possible, the first trailer for The OA: Part II confirms that not only is it possible, but the series isn’t done playing with the nature of reality as we know it.
Created and executive produced by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, with Batmanglij directing all of the episodes, The OA casts Marling as Prairie Johnson, the girl whose mysterious disappearance touches on elements of supernatural fantasy, science-fiction, and modern mysticism. The follow-up series brings back Marling as Prairie, who discovers that — at some point during the concluding events of the first season — she transported her consciousness into a version of herself from an alternate universe in which she had never disappeared and lives in San Francisco instead of the Midwest.
Details of the second season were revealed by Entertainment Weekly, which also confirmed the return of several additional characters.
The show will also bring back Jason Isaacs as the scientist Hap, Emory Cohen as Homer, and much of the supporting cast of characters Prairie interacted with in her hometown after her return. Also appearing in the second season will be The Walking Dead actor Scott Wilson, who played Prairie’s adoptive father in the first season, but died in October 2018. He had filmed his role for the second season before his death.
Among the newcomers to the series in The OA: Part II will be Kingsley Ben-Adir in the role of Karim Washington, a private detective whose investigation of a missing girl has him cross paths with Prairie and become caught up in the mysteries of her life. Finding answers to both of their questions brings them into contact with a mysterious house on Nob Hill with a connection to the girl’s disappearance and Prairie’s own past.
“It was really delicious to dive back into a realm you had been intimate with and land in the body of someone who had not been through all the experiences we watch Prairie go through in Part I,” Marling told EW.
“We think of Part II as very much a noir,” Batmanglij said of the new season. “We wanted to come in through the character of a cynical detective. Films like The Big Sleep didn’t seem antiquated [when they came out]. They were very modern. That’s why we thought, ‘What better place than San Francisco and the tech world to set a noir today?'”
The OA: Part II is scheduled to premiere March 22 on Netflix.
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