Due to the complex nature of the film Bandersnatch, Black Mirror producer Annabel Jones confirmed that the season 5 release date will be pushed back. The release of season 5 was announced back in March 2018, and there was hardly any advertisement of the film, shocking and puzzling Black Mirror fans.
The future will be brighter than ever. pic.twitter.com/slVeg3VPd7
— Black Mirror (@blackmirror) March 5, 2018
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jones and Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker dove into the complexity of the film as well as how viewers might navigate through the differing storylines. Both agree that there was never a decided storyline and it was never conceived in a linear format, so every ending is viable. However, if selections are not made within the given ten second time allotted, viewers can experience the “default” ending. When asked about just how many endings viewers can expect, Jones stated, “I don’t know how many endings there actually are — I think I’ve forgotten,” but then added that she believed there were five, to which Brooker interrupted: “No. There are more than that.” Producer Russell McLean believed there were as many as twelve, while director David Slade further added that there are “golden eggs” viewers might find if they are willing to put in the effort. “There are scenes that some people just will never see and we had to make sure that we were OK with that. We actually shot a scene that we can’t access,” Slade had told reporters during a group interview at the Netflix headquarters in Los Gatos, California. Netflix confirmed all of these statements, claiming that while there are five general endings that most people can reach, there are variations that the more ambitious viewers and avid Black Mirror fans can find.
Many viewers have even argued as to what constitutes and “ending,” as sometimes the credits will roll while others it will take you back to the beginning of the film and you have a chance to start over again. According to Brooker, “There’s a school of thought that says any time it stops and you go back, that’s an ending. In Bandersnatch, there are endings that are really abrupt that are still endings, in my mind.” In true Black Mirror fashion, Jones argued that “In a world of parallel realities, maybe there is no ending?”
Netflix has been on board with Brooker and his crew, even developing a unique tool for this branching narrative style. The tool, called “Branch Manager,” has brought Brooker’s vision to life. It is unclear whether there will be more such films, and possibly TV shows, in the future, but it is clear that such storytelling has taken much longer than a typical film – in fact it has been two years in the making. “There are things that alter the scene the second time around, and you get compressed versions of things you’ve already seen,” Brooker explained. “There are characters who are there or who aren’t there, depending on things that have happened. That part of things is very complex.” Some scenes had to be shot several times, with details added or changed in order to account for the variant choices given viewers.
For this reason, fans have been speculating whether season 5 will follow a similar vein, or even if this was season five in some weird Black Mirroresque twist. Needless to say, the film will keep fans at bay until the release of the next season, still slated to release in 2019.