It is a good thing that Black Mirror fans got their fix with the recently released choose-your-own-adventure standalone Bandersnatch, because all the work that went into making the expansive, one-of-a-kind movie wound up pushing back the release date for Season 5 of the technological horror series. Although there was speculation that the new season of Black Mirror may drop alongside or shortly after Bandersnatch, show creator Charlie Brooker revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that while Black Mirror Season 5 will still premiere in 2019, fans will have to wait a while to see the new episodes.
It should be no surprise to Black Mirror fans that Bandersnatch took a level of planning and production unlike any other movie. The Netflix film uses interactive technology to allow viewers to choose their own path through numerous possible storylines and endings — the movie reportedly contains over five hours of footage, requiring viewers to watch a few times through to see every last possible scene. Plus, Bandersnatch marks the first time that Netflix has ever employed an interactive viewing feature of this kind, which meant that the Black Mirror team had to work closely with the streaming site to develop the new tech. The process, understandably, wound up taking a ton of time.
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker estimated that the time Bandersnatch took to create was probably the equivalent to the time it would take to create four standard Black Mirror episodes, and unfortunately, that massive labor of love has set back the release date for the already-announced fifth season of the series. Brooker and his showrunning partner Annabel Jones worked on new Season 5 episodes while also producing Bandersnatch, but the movie wound up taking more time than they had thought:
We knew going into [Bandersnatch] that this would impact our time, but it hasn’t stopped us from doing other films. I think it’s fair to say that it took us more time and effort than we had initially anticipated.
So, it sounds like Black Mirror fans are going to have to wait a while for the new season to drop. Since the anthology series is always cryptic about its premiere dates, many fans were expecting Season 5 to drop alongside or shortly after Bandersnatch at the end of 2018, since the series has released a number of seasons and specials at the end of December in the past, but that did not happen. Instead, it sounds like Season 5 is still currently in production right now, and that it will not be released for several months.
One bit of good news is that Netflix has already confirmed Black Mirror Season 5 will be released in 2019, so we will still get the new season sometime this year. Although past seasons have most often been released in December, the show has also released seasons in February and October as well, and Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones do not seem tied to any sort of regular release schedule, so it is not easy to guess when Season 5 might arrive. One thing we do know about Season 5 is that it will star Miley Cyrus in one episode, so fans can look forward to that during our wait. Plus, you probably still have a bunch of Bandersnatch storylines you have not seen yet!