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Bandersnatch is so complex, not even the creators can access all of its permutations
If you felt a little overwhelmed by all of the possibilities in Black Mirror's first interactive experience, Bandersnatch, you're not alone.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the movie's director, David Slade (a vet of Season 4's "Metalhead"), revealed that even he and the producers ended up baffled by the sheer number of permutations allowed by this project, which required never-before-seen technology known as "Branch Manager" before it could come to life at Netflix.
"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," he said, referring to "golden eggs" that may never be found by anyone watching at home.
Following a "Choose Your Own Adventure" format, Bandersnatch allows viewers to decide the fate of a young programmer, Stefan Butler (Fionn Whitehead), attempting to adapt a fantasy novel into a video game in 1984. Emotionally dealing with the death of his mother, Stefan begins to doubt that he has any free will when his reality becomes more and more erratic.
Despite a mixed critical response, the film went on to dominate social media during its initial debut on Friday, Dec. 28. To make things even more interactive, Netflix released an actual website for the gaming company, Tuckersoft, that Stefan works for and made one of its games available to the public for free.
As you can imagine, Bandersnatch ate up a lot of production time, which meant that Season 5 of Black Mirror became inevitably delayed. No premiere date has been set, but the latest batch of episodes will drop sometime this year.
"We knew going into it that this would impact our time, but it hasn’t stopped us from doing other films," creator/producer/writer Charlie Brooker told THR; he also penned Bandersnatch's script. "I think it’s fair to say that it took us more time and effort than we had initially anticipated."