Netflix's smash dystopian near-future series Black Mirror makes each of its segmented stories a memorable "what if?" tale that toys with its audience’s ideas of technology and human relationships. Its fourth season promises more of the same: episode after episode of deliciously twist-heavy sci-fi. And episodes are how these stories will stay, according to show creator Charlie Brooker and his producing partner/co-showrunner Annabel Jones.
In an interview with Variety, Brooker and Jones were asked about possible plans for a film adaptation of the British anthology series. In response, the pair didn’t just deny a future adaptation, they renounced it. Brooker started off by explaining the logistical challenges that would come from making “an idea we thought would only be done best in IMAX and cost $300 million,” when in their current situation with Netflix they “don’t have the years of development hell.” Not only would that relative freedom go away if Black Mirror became a movie, the storytelling rhythm that the show has established would change.
“The nice thing about doing a story that’s about an hour long is it’s like doing a film without the s*** bit in it, because you know all films have a s*** bit,” Brooker said. The eclectic runtimes and shifting genres of each season would disappear, running against the spirit of the anthology.
Decisions would need to be made whether to run with, say, a Star Trek-influenced episode (which both showrunners think William Shatner will be flattered by) or a more traditionally spooky, technologically influenced drama. Brooker said that the show doesn’t need “cliffhangers and returning characters” and he enjoys its place as “a short-story collection,” so don’t expect to see a Black Mirror movie hitting theaters any time soon.