If you were a big fan of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, then Netflix has some good news for you. The streaming titan revealed that it will be sinking a good chunk of its capital into a whole slew of original, interactive programming.
“It’s a huge hit here in India, it’s a huge hit around the world, and we realized, 'wow, interactive storytelling is something we want to bet more on,'” Netflix's VP of Product, Todd Yellin, said at the FICCI-Frames conference in Mumbai. “We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two, to see more interactive storytelling. And it won’t necessarily be science fiction, or it won’t necessarily be dark. It could be a wacky comedy. It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose, should she go out with him or him.”
Written by Black Mirror creator, Charlie Brooker, and directed by American Gods alum, David Slade, Bandersnatch follows a young video game programmer (Fionn Whitehead) in 1984 as he begins to lose his grip on reality. The specific time period is almost certainly a nod to George Orwell's famous dystopian novel. Audience members were allowed to control all of the programmer's life decisions, both major and mundane, while he tries to turn a sprawling "Choose Your Own Adventure" book into a game.
The revolutionary episode/movie fast became a meme online and Netflix even made it possible to play one of the video games seen during the plot. Bandersnatch, which has over a trillion permuatations to the story, needed never-before-seen software in order to map out the path for both the producers and viewers.
Sadly, not everything having to do with the project was positive. Shortly after its release, actor Will Poulter (who plays famous programmer, Colin Ritman) decided to leave Twitter after toxic fans began to insult his physical appearance. In addition, Netflix found itself the victim of a lawsuit from Bantam Books, the owner of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" brand.