Earlier this month, Charlie Brooker announced that he and his Black Mirror collaborator Annabel Jones have been working on a project about this nightmare of a year titled Death to 2020.
Details were initially very scarce, but we now have a much clearer idea of exactly what the project is, taking the form of a mockumentary in which fictional characters explain the events that defined the past 12 months.
Mercifully, Death to 2020 is billed as a “Comedy Event”, suggesting it will be lighter in tone than Black Mirror and perhaps more in-line with the cynical humour of Brooker’s long-running Wipe series of topical reviews.
Samuel L Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Hugh Grant and Diane Morgan are among those confirmed for the stellar cast that we are introduced to in the teaser trailer released this week.
Death to 2020 is arriving on Netflix very soon indeed so read on for everything you need to know.
Death to 2020 release date on Netflix
Death to 2020 will be available to stream on Netflix from Sunday 27th December.
What is Death to 2020?
The programme will be a mockumentary about 2020 featuring fictional characters but discussing the real events that defined this extraordinary year.
The official synopsis from Netflix reads: “Death to 2020 is a comedy event that tells the story of the dreadful year that was — and perhaps still is? This landmark documentary-style special weaves together some of the world’s most (fictitious) renowned voices with real-life archival footage spanning the past 12 months.”
Co-creator Charlie Brooker adds: “Death to 2020 features fictional characters discussing real events in a bombastic mockumentary, but quite a bit sillier than that makes it sound.
“It felt like an apt format for Netflix, which is known for high-end documentaries, but also like a good opportunity to create a different kind of comedy special that deals with the year head-on while also showcasing some brilliant performers.
“I don’t love the word ‘satire’ but there’s some of that here, alongside some angry jokes, and some goofy jokes. And hopefully viewers will find at least one joke to their liking — because let’s face it, in 2020, any laugh you can emit, no matter how fleeting, is a small but precious victory.”
Death to 2020 cast
Netflix has announced the full cast for Death to 2020 and it is positively star-studded.
Among the biggest names to take part are Samuel L Jackson as news reporter Dash Bracket, Hugh Grant (above) as history professor Tennyson Foss, and Lisa Kudrow as right-wing commentator Jeanetta Grace Susan.
Also featured in the jaw-dropping line-up are Kumail Nanjiani as Bark Multiverse, the CEO of a tech company called Shreekr, while Mrs America star Tracey Ullman will portray Queen Elizabeth II herself.
The cast also includes Samson Kayo (Truth Seekers) as scientist Pyrex Flask, Leslie Jones (Ghostbusters) as psychologist Dr Maggie Gravel and Cristin Milioti (Black Mirror) as so-called soccer mum Kathy Flowers.
Last but not least, Stranger Things icon Joe Keery will portray a young millennial working the gig economy, while Brooker’s frequent collaborator Diane Morgan (aka Philomena Cunk) will play Gemma Nerrick, described as an “average citizen”.
Little is known about exactly what these personalities will have to say about 2020, but Grant did describe his character as “pretty repellent” in an interview with New York Magazine.
Is Death to 2020 part of Black Mirror?
Death to 2020 does not appear to be an actual episode of Black Mirror, instead billed as a Netflix Comedy Event, suggesting it will be lighter in tone than the bleak drama from Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.
Earlier this year it was announced that Netflix has struck a deal to invest in the new production company set up by the duo, and so the new programme is perhaps more likely to be the first fruit of that partnership.
Death to 2020 trailer
Check out the first trailer for Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ Death to 2020 below, which showcases the stellar line-up of talent assembled to portray its roster of fictional interviewees.