Rumours have been flying around for weeks that the release of a new Black Mirror movie is imminent, with Netflix apparently tweeting and deleting a release date for the project (titled Bandersnatch for the 28th December) a few weeks ago and a programme page appearing for the project on the Netflix site last week.
And now, fans believe they might have teased out some concrete details about what we can expect from Bandersnatch, thanks to details posted on the Korean Media Ratings Board (essentially their version of the BBFC) and some details accidentally posted online.
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As these details aren’t confirmed by Netflix or creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, it’s probably best to take them with a grain of salt, but on the website the film is said to star Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead and is directed by David Slade, who won plaudits for his black-and-white Black Mirror episode Metalhead last year.
So far, so plausible – Whitehead is an up-and-coming star perfect for a Black Mirror spot, and Slade has history with the series – but some eyebrows may be raised by the runtime of the movie listed on the website – 312 minutes.
Yep, that’s about 5 hours, pretty long for a movie – but it could be explained by the synopsis for the episode, which has been translated by redditors thusly:
“A young programmer makes a fantasy novel into a game. Soon, reality and virtual world are mixed and start to create confusion”.
This could suggest, as many have supposed, that Bandersnatch is the choose-your-own adventure game version of Black Mirror teased by the series some time ago, where viewers pick their own path through the story – and if true, that COULD be why the runtime is recorded as so long on the classification website.
In other words, those five hours could relate to every possible option and outcome for the film, which people who classify movies would have to watch all of to make their recommendation, while in reality users will probably have a much shorter viewing experience.
This could also tie in with the episode’s title, which shares its name with an unreleased 1984 videogame, and by extension its setting, which filming reports have suggested is also explicitly shown to be 1984.
Clearly, whatever the truth this Black Mirror project is shaping up to be something pretty interesting – and if rumours of involvement from actors Will Poulter and People Just Do Nothing’s Asim Chaudhry are also true (based on a thumbnail Netflix put up then swiftly pulled down again), it’s even more exciting.
And who knows? This might just be the perfectly bleak end to 2018 if/when it’s released next week.
Black Mirror will return to Netflix for a fifth series