Black Mirror show-runner Charlie Brooker has confirmed that we’ll have to wait a little longer to see the fifth season of the dystopian anthology because he and executive producer Annabel Jones spent so long on their recently released interactive film, Bandersnatch.
The ‘choose your own adventure’ episode reportedly has about five hours of footage in it – though only the most determined viewers will see all of this, due to its interactive structure – and took about two years to make. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Brooker and Jones likened production on the film to making four episodes of the series, adding that though they had anticipated a difficult and complicated process, they had still underestimated it.
Naturally, this had a knock-on effect for the upcoming fifth season, which is set to arrive this year. “It did take an enormous amount of time and as a result then, season five sort of gets shifted back a little bit,” Jones said.
“We knew going into it that it would be difficult and challenging and more complicated than a normal film that we would do. Even then, we underestimated,” Brooker said. “As the story expanded, I like to say that the story got longer and it got wider. So the whole thing started expanding a bit like an inflatable life raft in a small room.”
He clarified that they continued to work on other episodes simultaneously, but that the expansive nature of Bandersnatch ate into their time. “We knew going into it that this would impact our time, but it hasn’t stopped us from doing other films. I think it’s fair to say that it took us more time and effort than we had initially anticipated.”
However, Netflix has confirmed that the series will still arrive in 2019, and Bandersnatch will go some way to tiding us over while we wait.