Here’s what we know about “Bandersnatch,” the “Black Mirror” film

Through the looking glass.
Through the looking glass.
Image: YouTube
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After leaving a complicated trail of breadcrumbs over the past several months, Netflix finally released an official trailer for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch this morning ahead of its debut tomorrow, Dec. 28.

The trailer confirmed several existing rumors around this latest installment of the sci-fi anthology. First, Bandersnatch is not a part of Black Mirror season five, but is rather a separate ”event,” per the trailer. Dunkirk breakout star Fionn Whitehead will serve as a moody, medicated protagonist alongside Will Poulter and Asim Chaudhry. The three appear to be working at a video game company somewhere in the UK in 1984, per the YouTube description (the era is also heavily implied via fashion cues and Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” playing in the background).

The setting was previously suspected after a now-removed Netflix title card confirmed that the film is “set in the 1980s,” and a Twitter user saw retro-looking replicas of shop fronts at One Croydon, where another user spotted “Bandersnatch” on a poster giving notice of filming.

What the trailer did not confirm is whether Bandersnatch is the notorious Black Mirror choose-your-own-adventure” experience that was initially thought to be a part of the series’ fifth season per a Bloomberg report from October. That said, according to a report first released by the Independent based on a page surfaced from the Korean Media Rating Board (link in Korean), the film has 312 minutes of footage (over five hours). If it is indeed an interactive “event,” the film will allow viewers to dictate events and outcomes using their remote contro.

Also leaked, and now confirmed, is the plot of Bandersnatch, which according to the YouTube description involves a young programmer who “begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.”

Ahead of the trailer, fans had speculated that the video-game storyline seems to be inspired by a 1984 video game called Bandersnatch that was never released to the public:

The word “bandersnatch” also refers to a character of the same name in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, which fits neatly into a story about the blurred lines between reality and fantasy.

Watch the full trailer here: