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A ‘choose your own adventure’ version of ‘Black Mirror’ is coming (updated)
Update 6:35am CT, Dec. 27: It’s official, Netflix confirmed early Thursday that Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is coming on Friday. The five-hour “choose your own adventure” project, set in the ’80s, will star Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, and Asim Chaudhry, and be directed by David Slade. The film will follow a programmer who “begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.” Check out the trailer below.
There have been whispers about the new season of Black Mirror for months: There was a teaser titled Bandersnatch, and a mysteriously deleted tweet from Netflix that claimed it would arrive on Dec. 28. Now there’s some hard proof on the Netflix website.
If you search “Bandersnatch,” you’ll come to a page that labels it a “Netflix film,” with the subhead “Be right back,” the title of one of Black Mirror‘s most popular episodes. The accompanying images appear to be stills from past episodes. And then there’s the Black Mirror “loading” logo.
In October, it was announced that the new season would be experimenting with a choose-your-own-adventure-style interface. It’s not 100 percent clear that Bandersnatch is that experiment, but the layout is a good heads-up. Fans have already started picking apart clues and theories online: Part of the film reportedly takes place in 1984, and the title might reference a video game that was never made.
It was also pointed out that, true to Black Mirror form, there was a “Bandersnatch” reference in season 3’s “Playtest” episode.
WHHAAATTTT, Bandersnatch was referenced all the way back in Season 3 on the front cover of the gaming magazine in Playtest 😮 pic.twitter.com/LabQe7dX6v— Jeeves ‘Logosmith’ Williams 🇬🇧🇲🇽🏳️🌈 (@jeeveswilliams) November 26, 2018
A Korean rating website has reportedly provided this description: “A young programmer makes a fantasy novel into a game. Soon, reality and virtual world are mixed and start to create confusion.” Sounds a little like season 4’s “USS Callister.”
finally! the synopsis of the black mirror movie (taken from a korea rating website)— ana (@bluesgrady) December 20, 2018
can we fast forward to next friday, please? pic.twitter.com/ZGMIG3txgq
According to the Korean Media Rating Board (via r/blackmirror), the runtime of Bandersnatch is 312 minutes, which comes out to a little more than five hours. However, it’s unlikely that Netflix is actually giving us a five-hour movie. Given previous reports that Bandersnatch will be a “choose-your-own-adventure” type of story, it’s more likely that the 312-minute runtime is the collective total runtime of footage available to choose from in Bandersnatch.
Elsewhere, the Netflix TV app has provided a shot from the film. Dunkirk‘s Fionn Whitehead has been attached to the project, and that looks like him on the left. The Maze Runner‘s Will Poulter is also attached, and that appears to be him in the middle.
IMDb still has the release date for “season 5” as Dec. 28. We’ve reached out to Netflix for confirmation.
Update 8:38am CT, Dec. 26: Updated with reported runtime of Bandersnatch.
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.