Presumably to gather inspiration from real-life dystopian horrors that continue to abound, “Black Mirror” has gone three years without releasing new episodes.
But the break is finally over, as the sixth season of the critically acclaimed hit anthology series is currently in development at Netflix, according to Variety, to once again hold up a mirror to our own collective techno-paranoia.
The new season will reportedly expand beyond the runtime of Season 5, which contained only three episodes, but will be “even more cinematic in scope, with each installment being treated as an individual film,” a source told the outlet.
No additional details about the season, including a release date, have yet to be unveiled by Netflix.
The series, created by Charlie Brooker, has only gotten more complex and expensive throughout its run, with each standalone story upping the ante with special effects and increasingly star-studded casts.
After dropping the interactive installment titled “Bandersnatch” in 2018, which allowed viewers to shape the outcome of the story, the streamer released three new entries for Season 5 the following year: “Striking Vipers,” “Smithereens” and “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too,” featuring actors Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Matteen II, Andrew Scott and Miley Cyrus.
Since then, Brooker expressed some doubt as to whether there was still an appetite for “Black Mirror,” explaining in May 2020 that he was drawn to comedy at the time.
“At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those,” he told Radio Times. “I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.”
But when asked about another season of “Black Mirror,” he cryptically replied, “I’ve been busy, doing things. I don’t know what I can say about what I’m doing and not doing.”
Behind-the-scenes intellectual property disputes might also be responsible for the delay, as Netflix, which acquired the series following two seasons on Channel 4, only recently retained the licensing rights again.
In January 2020, Brooker and producer Annabel Jones departed their production company House of Tomorrow that owns the rights to the series under Endemol Shine Group to start their own venture, Broke & Bones. That company eventually reached a deal with the subsequent rightsholder Banijay, which took over the Endemol Shine Group later that year, to license the show to Netflix, allowing for future episodes to air on the streamer.
Brooker and Jones have also helped launch a pair of year-end specials for Netflix, “Death to 2020” and “Death to 2021,” in addition to the interactive animated film “Cat Burglar.”
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