'Black Mirror' Creator Blames 'Bandersnatch' for the Season 5 Release Delay

If you’re a Black Mirror fan itching for new episodes, you better hope the multiple endings of Bandersnatch are enough to keep you occupied for now. Season 5 is still coming, but a premiere date is still unknown, and that’s because of the interactive episode that dropped just before the new year.

Fans hoped that Black Mirror Season 5 would be released before the end of 2018, especially when a premiere date for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was leaked. However, it turned out that Bandersnatch was the choose-your-own-adventure installment — a “film,” not an episode — that had been teased. With its five endings and many ways to get to each, there is no set runtime. It can take anywhere from 40 to 150 minutes to complete and Netflix is likely hoping fans will opt for multiple viewings.

But all those different endings meant making Bandersnatch wasn’t like any other Black Mirror episode. Instead, creator and writer Charlie Booker compared creating this one movie to four episodes, which has affected when fans will see more.

Season 5 is scheduled to be released sometime in 2019, but that’s all we have in terms of a date. We don’t even know how many episodes Season 5 will be or what to expect from any of them. Miley Cyrus may be in one of them, though that hasn’t been officially confirmed.

“We knew going into it that it would be difficult and challenging and more complicated than a normal film that we would do,” Brooker told The Hollywood Reporter, admitting they “underestimated” those challenges. “As the story expanded, I like to say that the story got longer and it got wide.”

netflix black mirror interactive movie bandersnatch
'Black Mirror; Bandersnatch' makes viewers choose their own ending

That was in part due to the tools necessary for interactive storytelling, including a script program and a different kind of editing.

“It’s not like editing a standard film where you can often rearrange scenes or cut things,” Brooker said. “In some respects, you have more freedom because you have so many different stories that you can be telling, but then you are restricted in new ways. There’s a whole new language you have to learn and on top of that, you have to write and film so much more.”

Executive producer Annabel Jones added that creating a cohesive experience that never feels forced or stitched together also took an extraordinary amount of effort.

“There’s so much content and not reflected in the content is the craftsmanship,” she said, “and what you have to take out to make the world exist — or feel as if it does exist in one cohesive world. So it did take an enormous amount of time and as a result, then season five sort of gets shifted back a little bit.”

So, for now, hopefully you still have some paths of Bandersnatch you haven’t found yet to keep you busy until we know more about Black Mirror Season 5.

Black Mirror Seasons 1-4 and the Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch are now streaming on Netflix. Season 5 will be available in 2019.


Related video: 5 Times Black Mirror Reflected Reality

This makes you think, doesn't it?
Media via Netflix, Inverse