Refreshingly bizarre or totally bonkers, Netflix’s The OA is unlike anything you’ve seen on screen before. Delving into near-death experiences, inter-dimensional travel and consciousness itself, the first two seasons (the second of which is available to stream today) serves up some truly jaw-dropping visuals and twists.
And more episodes could be on the way. Although not officially greenlit by Netflix, a third part of the story is being developed by co-creators Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling (who also plays the titular character).
But what could that season involve? And when will we see it?
We caught up with Jason Isaacs (Dr ‘Hap’ Hunter) and new cast member Kingsley Ben-Adir (private detective Karim Washington) to find out the future of The OA…
Will there be a third season of The OA?
As we previously said, a third part of the drama hasn’t yet been officially commissioned by Netflix. However, Batmanglij and Marling definitely have plans for how the story will progress.
“They’ve got all five seasons mapped out in their head. They did before they started,” Isaacs tells RadioTimes.com. “And that’s one of the reasons, I think, why the show was originally picked up by Netflix. Because they arrived with this thing that was fully-formed. It’s their singular voices. It doesn’t bear the stamp of any kind of executive development.”
He added: “I’m so invested in seeing it as a fan that I hope to god that people like the show as much as I do because we’d like to get a season three, four and five.”
Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs in The OA (Netflix)
In other words, it sounds as if Netflix was originally committed to the “fully-formed” story that was pitched to them, according to Isaacs anyway. And this would mean the streaming giant is likely to commit to a third season if the show matches the fairly positive reaction to The OA’s first run.
But, just like the show itself, nothing is certain at this stage.
When will The OA season 3 be on Netflix?
With a nearly two-and-a-half-year gap between the first and second season, fans may have to be very patient to see if a third season ever materialises. But maybe not quite as patient as last time.
Isaacs didn’t give details, but hinted the show’s production would speed up in future: “I don’t think it’ll be as long as the [season 2 wait].”
In November 2018, Marling gave a very “granular” explanation to why the show’s second season – originally commissioned in 2017 – was taking so long to reach screens. Citing how The OA wasn’t a product of a “pattern narrative”, Marling suggested the show’s unformulaic nature added to its long production times.
“Our chapters vary in length, scope, and even genre,” she said. “There is no pattern. As a result, at every step along the way nothing can be imitated, it has to be invented.”
Marling and Kingsley Ben-Adir in The OA season 2
And then there’s the issue of completing the writing before The OA can be put to camera. “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,” Marling explained.
She added: “Some people thought of Part I of The OA as a long film,” Marling writes. “If you look at it from that perspective, 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!”
What could happen in the third season of The OA?
It’s going – somehow – to get even stranger. At least, that’s according to Ben-Adir. “I know where it’s going in the next season, which is NUTS! Like, unimaginable! Genuinely! Like, not even in a way I’m trying to sell it – It’s crazy!” he said.
“You think it goes there, but then it goes [starts pointing frantically] there and there and then there!”
Kingsley Ben-Adir (Getty)
However, Isaacs later implied future seasons won’t be as chaotic as this sounds: “[Batmanglij and Marling], believe me, have thought about everything. Everybody will be rewarded by the time we reach the end of the journey.”
Who could be in the cast of The OA season three?
Judging by Ben-Adir’s comments on a “crazy” third season to come, it’s likely that his character – Karim Washington – will return for a third season. Saying he knew “some part of where we’re going”, Isaacs’ Dr Hunter could also return to the show.
Of course, there’s also the chance that both actors simply know what will happen in The OA’s later seasons despite being killed off. At this point, we can’t be sure.
However, we can be pretty positive a third season would include Marling’s character Prairie Johnson. Not only is the former blind woman so integral to the story, but her adoptive name, The OA, is also the show’s title.
But beyond that, there’s no indication whether other important characters, such as Riz Ahmed’s FBI Psychologist or Patrick Gibson’s angry teen Steve Winchell, will return for another dose of inter-dimensional travel and interpretive dance.