Netflix Adds Mysterious New Drama Series The OA

If it’s a day that ends in “Y,” then it must mean that Netflix is adding another brand new series to their packed slate. But instead of spinning old material in a new way or adapting a comic book, they’ve ordered an original drama from the creative team of Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, who have been working together in the indie scene for years.

The project is called The OA, and that’s roughly all we know about it, unfortunately. Netflix, which ordered an eight-episode initial season, chose not to offer any plot details concerning the one-hour drama, and are keeping the narrative under wraps for now. So OA can stand for anything from “overachievers” to “ornate acrobats” to something much more likely to be the truth.

What we do know is Marling and Batmanglij will be writing it together, with the latter directing the series. Marling will indeed star, making it her fourth team-up with Batmanglij, though this will be the first TV project for the pair. Considering what their past efforts’ were about, I’m assuming The OA will tell a dark story where everyone is hiding secrets.

Netflix is apparently super interested in The OA, as they went all in on a bidding war with other networks vying for the drama. I can’t imagine that money is a problem for them, so it’s no surprise they came out on top. And considering all of the other awesome series coming to the streaming service over the next couple of years, it’s likely The OA’s subject matter is a cut above normal network fare.

Marling and Batmanglij first teamed up on the sci-fi short film The Recordist in 2007 and then moved on to the sorta-sci-fi cult drama Sound of My Voice. They also worked on 2013’s thriller The East together, which broadened their subject matter a little more.

When they weren’t working together, Marling further built up her indie sci-fi queen cred with fellow indie filmmaker Mike Cahill for 2011’s Another Earth and last year’s I Origins. (Netflix doesn’t really have much science fiction going for it, beyond the Wachowskis’ multi-layered drama Sense8, so here’s hoping The OA is a little more indirect with its drama.) The actress can also be found on the awesome U.K. comedic miniseries Babylon, opposite James Nesbitt.

Batmanglij, meanwhile, is directing multiple episodes of the bonkers-looking M. Night Shyamalan-produced mystery thriller Wayward Pines, which obviously means he’s still keeping up with off-kilter fiction. And The OA will be produced by Plan B and Anonymous Content, which were behind 12 Years a Slave and True Detective, respectively.

Netflix will be delivering a ton of new series before The OA makes its mysterious way to audiences, but hopefully we get a plot description soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.