Netflix released the first trailer for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, an original movie that will premiere on the streaming video service on Friday, December 28.
The trailer was released just a day before the full-length feature’s debut on Netflix, and unlike the release of most trailers, it arrived with little advance warning or promotion — possibly in keeping with the atmosphere of mystery pervading the series that spawned it, Black Mirror.
Directed by David Slade (Hannibal, American Gods), Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is set in 1984 and follows a computer programmer who’s tasked with turning a fantasy novel into a video game, only to have the boundaries between fantasy and reality begin to blur around him as the project develops. Early rumors have suggested that the film might offer some “choose your own adventure”-style interactive element, but nothing has been confirmed along those lines.
In front of the camera, the cast of Bandersnatch includes Dunkirk actor Fionn Whitehead as the film’s programmer protagonist, along with Will Poulter (Maze Runner) and Asim Chaudhry (People Just Do Nothing). The trailer also offers a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to Slade’s previous directorial contribution to the Black Mirror series, the season 4 episode Metalhead, courtesy of a poster for a game titled “METL HEDD” that appears in the background of a scene. Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s 1984 song Relax also features prominently in the trailer.
Anyone familiar with Lewis Carroll’s 1871 sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, titled Through the Looking Glass, will likely be familiar with the creature referenced in the film’s title, the Bandersnatch. In the novel, the Bandersnatch was described as a terrifying, toothy beast with frightening speed, and was also referenced in the poem Jabberwocky. (“Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!”)
A sci-fi anthology series that features stand-alone tales chronicling the terrifying possibilities of technology and a society obsessed with it, Black Mirror has received critical acclaim over the course of its first four seasons, winning two Primetime Emmy Awards for episodes in its third and fourth seasons. Originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the U.K., the series gained considerable attention when Netflix acquired it, added it to its streaming library, and then commissioned an additional two seasons — soon to be three.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch isn’t considered part of the upcoming fifth season of Black Mirror, which has yet to receive an official release date.
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