'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' Trailer Brings an 80s Twist to Sci-Fi Dystopia

Charlie Brooker's mind-bending hit series is back.

Netflix has released a trailer for its next Black Mirror release, and it looks set to stun. Bandersnatch is a science-fiction thriller set in the ‘80s, focusing on a video game with terrifying twists. The teaser, unveiled on Thursday, reveals that the release will hit screens on December 28.

The short trailer shows a development studio working on a new video game, inspired by the works of a mysterious author called Jerome F. Davies. It looks set to capture some of Black Mirror’s best moments, where the excitement of cutting-edge technology gives way to the horrors of unforeseen consequences. The main character is seen swallowing red-and-yellow pills, backed by a soundtrack of “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, as the mysterious three-pronged logo from “White Bear” and other Black Mirror episodes surfaces on blurry CRT screens.

The trailer’s description reads that “a young programmer begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.” The feature is set to star Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead, The Revenant’s Will Pouter and People Just Do Nothing’s Asim Chaudhry.

A still from the teaser.
A still from the teaser.

Perhaps Bandersnatch’s most interesting twist will be its mode of distribution. Reports in October claimed that Netflix was planning a choose-your-own-adventure episode of Black Mirror, building on the service’s previous experiments with kids shows like Puss in Books where viewers can make simple decisions a few minutes into a show. Reports this month claimed that Bandersnatch has 312 minutes of footage total, but viewers will see 90 minutes in each playthrough with the extra footage designed for branching paths based on interactive decisions. The trailer does not specify whether this is true or not, but it does refer to the release as an “event” rather than a movie or trailer, hinting at a change of pace.

The show, created by Charlie Brooker and originally debuting on the U.K.’s Channel 4 in 2011, has received numerous accolades for its dark take on futuristic ideas. Later episodes like “San Junipero” were highly praised for moving the original concept in new directions, but Bandersnatch could take this to a whole new level by questioning the concept of a TV show entirely.

Related video: Clive Owen Faces ‘Black Mirror’ Style Mind-Hacking in ‘Anon’

Media via Netflix