Netflix isn’t done letting subscribers decide characters’ fates in their movies and television series. The success of Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has prompted the streaming service to prioritize more interactive content.
While delivering the keynote speech at a media convention in Mumbai, Netflix’s Vice President of Product Todd Yellin indicated that the streaming service is taking note of how well Bandersnatch was received by audiences and the positive buzz the dark, “choose your own adventure”-style project generated.
“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,” Yellin said, as initially reported by Variety. “We’re doubling down on that. So expect over the next year or two to see more interactive storytelling.”
Yellin went on to suggest that the interactive format could be applied to a wide range of genres and that it “won’t necessarily be science fiction.”
“It could be a wacky comedy,” he explained. “It could be a romance, where the audience gets to choose — should she go out with him or him.”
Premiering in December, Bandersnatch was framed as a spinoff project from dark sci-fi series Black Mirror, and followed a young computer programmer whose efforts to turn a seemingly unadaptable fantasy novel into a video game prompted a series of events that had him questioning both reality and his own sanity. Viewers were prompted to make decisions about the programmer’s next action at various points, with their choices leading the story toward more positive or significantly direr conclusions.
Dunkirk actor Fionn Whitehead starred in the film, with The Revenant and Maze Runner franchise actor Will Poulter playing a supporting role. The film was directed by 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy filmmaker David Slade.
Although it garnered the most attention, Bandersnatch wasn’t the first interactive project on Netflix. The streaming service previously took that approach with its Puss in Boots and Minecraft animated series, which allowed viewers to decide how their characters progressed in the stories. Bandersnatch was the first project to use that format for live-action content on Netflix, though.
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