As teased in a trailer Thursday, Netflix dropped "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" at midnight Pacific and social media has been abuzz in the hours since, attempting to untangle the twisted tale of a young man's flirtation with madness.
Netflix and Black Mirror will make history with Bandersnatch, the first choose-your-own adventure film. But when it comes to the creepy sci-fi series, we can't help but tune in.
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The fact it's being called an 'event, ' and that the trailer seems to be setting up a plot involving an adventure game, based on a book, makes us think those Choose Your Own Adventure rumours were spot-on.
"Bandersnatch" is the third episode of Black Mirror that's explicitly about games, following the third season's 'Playtest' and last year's 'USS Callister'. Once you've made your selection (or once the device has for you), the movie continues without any black screen or pause to load, which reinforces the idea that you're actually directing the story instead of simply playing a game. The viewer gets about 10 to 15 seconds to make a choice, so you can factor that in to your calculations.
Netflix says choices will pop up about every 1.5 minutes and you can use your remote control, fingers, or console controller to enter your preference. One story iteration of the film takes viewers about 90 minutes to watch. Annabel Jones, who has 20 Black Mirror executive producer credits to her name, fills the same role with Bandersnatch. Did it work? This is how the first wave of viewership has responded to the Bandersnatch gimmick.
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The other two actors in the teaser shot are Fionn Whitehead - who you will recognise as the star of Christopher Nolan's World War II drama Dunkirk - and Will Poulter, who you will probably also recognise but have absolutely no clue where from. This is where I learned there is a definite critical path: Stefan will always end up making the game by himself in his little bedroom and lose his grasp on reality. But Black Mirror is so far the only one to require an emulator.
It's available on Netflix now.
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