Why The OA Cancellation Might Be A Fake, According To One Theory

The OA Brit Marling Prairie Johnson Nina Azarova Netflix
(Image credit: Olivia Bee / Netflix)

According to one theory, The OA cancellation might be a fake. Netflix shocked fans earlier this week with the news that it was cancelling the cult favorite after two seasons. The internet is a place for people to mourn a show and theorize about it. Hence, one OA fan is not entirely buying the cancellation news, and they have a theory that explains why.

Taking to Reddit, one fan gave their theory that The OA could be doing something groundbreaking. It may be faking its own cancellation, according to user smithif’s post. Here is the first half of their theory:

The fact that this was announced today when the renewal movement was supposed to begin is clue #1. The fact that the inception of the renewal movement was started by Jason Isaacs is clue #2. Brit’s tweet about the last text from Grandma Vu is clue #3. The netflix VP’s quote about looking forward to working with Brit and Zal in this dimension and many others is clue #4.

They argue that Netflix’s timing is one of four clues. The OA got cancelled on the same day fans were going to start their social media renewal campaign for Season 3.

A campaign that, according to them, was initiated by actor Jason Isaacs, who plays Hap. It was arguably time for such an effort to come to fruition, so it may have been incidental. Season 2 (titled “Part II”) came out all the way back in late March 2019. The usual Netflix renewal window is about a month, putting The OA way behind schedule.

After such a popular freshman run, that delay indicated something was amiss with the show’s future. The first season of The OA premiered in mid-December 2016. It was renewed a few months later on February 2017. It took two more years before Season 2 got released.

As for the fan’s theory of a fake cancellation, a lot of their belief stems from the show itself, which focused on trippy sci-fi, alternate dimensions. The OA’s second (and final?) season featured the mind-blowing twist of having OA wake up as “Brit Marling,” a.k.a. the real-life actress who plays her. That is not all!

OA/Brit Marling was making The OA, in another dimension. Also around was Hap as actor “Jason Isaacs,” who in this other universe is married to Marling. Wild!

Here is what they had to say about that:

We have now truly moved into the third season where the show was cancelled due to Brit (OA) being injured, and not being able to continue her role as OA. Due to the show being cancelled Happ has a way to help repress Nina and OA inside of Brit, by saying she just misses the character and acting on the show. Jason Isaacs (Happ) is pushing for the show to continue so that he seems like a caring husband, thus adding more doubt to Brit’s mind, the rest remains to be seen.

The show within a show reveal has led to a lot of tricky interpretations between the real and reel world. Thus, pointing the fan to believe The OA’s cancellation in real life is part of the show’s on-screen storyline.

They also cite what Netflix’s VP of content had to say about the cancellation. Cindy Holland said that she looked forward to working with series creators, Brit Marling, and Zal Batmanglij, again “in the future, in this and perhaps many other dimensions,” per Insider. That line helped fuel the fan’s theory. However, a source also told Insider that The OA will not be back.

Of course, Netflix should want to collaborate with the incredible talent that is Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. It is altogether possible that she was just offering a reference back to the show with no hidden meaning. Remember, that Haunting of Hill House fan theory and the truth about it? Exactly.

As someone who enjoyed theorizing about The OA, I can totally see where someone might think this is a fake. However, there are a lot of clues that it is not. The most persuasive piece of evidence being Brit Marling’s poignant Instagram post, in which she sounded sincerely shattered by the news.

Check it out and be sure to swipe over to be able to read all of her message:

A photo posted by on

This is such a thorough rendering of her thoughts and grief over The OA getting cancelled. She even talks about how “sad” she and the show’s co-creator, Zal Batmanglij, are that they will not get to “finish this story.” That is a pretty straightforward way of saying it is over.

Questions remain as to how it would have ended had it gotten the chance to wrap up. It is evident that The OA was far from over telling its story when it got cancelled.

If any show were going to fake its own cancellation, The OA would probably be the most easily forgiven among fans. They are used to out of this world plot twists, and it does not get any more surreal than faking getting cancelled.

Fans are all too familiar with shows not being full-disclosure with them. That includes being less than upfront with a character’s fate. Here is looking at you, Game of Thrones! Faking the cancellation of a show is another dimension of dedication to surprising fans which, again, is so OA! Only time will tell for sure.

The OA burst onto Netflix with the surprise drop of its first season. If it comes back again, it could do the same and with tremendous fanfare. I am not familiar with any other show faking its own “death.”

If you still did not get enough mind-bending twists, check out The OA’s first two seasons. They are currently streaming on Netflix, among other premieres. To get your mind off the cancellation news, check out this summer’s premieres. The fall premiere season is fast-approaching as well, and viewers will soon have everything from comedies to dramas to superheroes en masse to choose from. If The OA somehow does return, it will join a massive slate of TV offerings!

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.