- “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” is an interactive movie with five different endings.
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix first pitched the idea to Charlie Brooker, the creator of “Black Mirror,” in May 2017.
- A Netflix representative told Business Insider: “While Bandersnatch is a standalone film, it is not the sole film in Season 5. Season 5 will still return in 2019.”
Netflix on Friday released the first standalone “Black Mirror” movie, “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” which features an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure-style storyline that has been nearly two years in the making.
A trailer for “Bandersnatch” that Netflix dropped on Thursday described it as a “Black Mirror event,” but the streamer kept most details from the public. The Netflix page for the movie originally described it as a “Netflix film” but now says it’s a “Netflix interactive film.”
Here’s the Netflix description for the movie: “In 1984, a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a dark fantasy novel into a video game. A mind-bending tale with multiple endings.”
“Bandersnatch” features five different endings, with options appearing at the bottom of the screen that give the viewer only a few seconds to choose, according to The New York Times. The Times reporter David Streitfeld said that the episode went back to the beginning when he did not choose anything but that it wasn’t clear whether it was a glitch or a punishment.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, viewers will need about an hour and a half to reach an ending to “Bandersnatch,” though it could take almost 2 1/2 hours to fully experience it. Variety estimated that a viewer could make it through in about 40 minutes, but the average time is 90 minutes.
Over a trillion unique permutations exist in the story, according to Variety. But not every decision a viewer makes is as impactful to the story as others. Some are easy, like choosing what to eat.
Netflix pitched the idea of an interactive story to Charlie Brooker, the creator of “Black Mirror,” in May 2017, The Hollywood Reporter said. Brooker was hesitant at first.
“We didn’t know what the story would be and thought, ‘Wouldn’t that just be a gimmick?'” Brooker told the publication. “Annoyingly, several weeks later, we were throwing story ideas around and this idea popped up that would only work as an interactive. It was good to come back and have an idea, but also daunting.”
But “Bandersnatch” isn’t taking the place of the show’s fifth season. A Netflix representative told Business Insider: “While Bandersnatch is a standalone film, it is not the sole film in Season 5. Season 5 will still return in 2019.”
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