Netflix released its much-anticipated, surprise 90-minute Black Mirror film on Friday, called Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. This is something that viewers are going to want to watch more than once because it brings in such a unique element–the film is an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure game with multiple endings, according to the Atlantic.
The film was written by Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror, a mind-boggling original anthology series that is often seen as a modern version of the classic science fiction series The Twilight Zone.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch follows Stefan, a young programmer, played by Fionn Whitehead, who would like to create his own computer game called Bandersnatch. The game was inspired by a choose-your-own-adventure book from Stefan’s childhood, which is where the viewer comes in. The film offers five different endings with variations of each. Overall, there are more than a trillion permutations, Variety reported, which will keep ambitious viewers busy for quite some time.
The interactive feature can be accessed on most newer devices, such as smart televisions, game consoles, web browsers, and Android and iOS devices with the latest Netflix app downloaded. It is not yet available on Apple TV, Chromecast, and legacy devices, so Netflix will choose random variations for these viewers.
Viewers are given a series of options throughout the film, even simple ones, like which type cereal to eat. They must choose quickly before a decision is made for them. Remarkably, the film runs smoothly the entire way, with no loading time or cutting to black after a choice is made.
Of course, as with every Black Mirror episode, there is a dark twist–the game sends Stefan mad. Brooker hopes that the interactive feature will have viewers empathizing with Stefan.
“What we were trying to do was what Stefan was trying to do,” he explained. “There were many points where we felt it was driving us crazy.”
While the film runs for a maximum of about 90 minutes, some of the choices made can get viewers to the end in under an hour.
The film, which also stars Will Poulter, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe, and Asim Chaudhry, was directed by David Slade. It took about 35 days to shoot, according to E! News.
Netflix had previously been experimenting with interactive children’s content, such as a Puss In Boots film in 2017, the service’s first dive into choose-your-own-adventure stories. The film featured Puss in Boots, the lovable talking cat from the Shrek series, trapped in a storybook, asking viewers for help to get him out.