Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker recently had harsh words for viewers who complained about the trillion permutations for the choose-your-own-adventure, standalone Bandersnatch film. Brooker has had plenty more to say on the matter to Yahoo UK, which makes one believe that he might be taking Bandersnatch Twitter reactions very seriously — while stating that he wishes people didn’t take the Black Mirror multiverse so seriously. Maybe? He’s not being entirely clear, but it’s obvious that feedback has gotten under his skin.
That feedback is entirely real and contributed to why Bandersnatch star Will Poulter left Twitter due to a wave of online abuse against him personally. Yet Brooker’s reasoning is a little more muddled. Bandersnatch arrived with a reported trillion permutations. People naturally went nuts after hearing that number and then spending plenty of time working through the movie, and some of them weren’t entirely satisfied. However, Brooker wants them to lighten up and realize that the show’s for fun:
“I only get annoyed when people think that Black Mirror takes itself more seriously than it actually does. I think this is a very playful story that we’ve done here and I think sometimes people lose sight of that and take it too seriously, so sod those people! I hope they take the film seriously but I think that they think we’re trying to sort of make some grand statement on humankind.”
Perhaps the makers of Black Mirror, generally speaking, do adapt that mindset of being playful while creating bite-sized episodes. Maybe they went into Bandersnatch that way as well. Yet throwing a trillion permutations at fans does tend to boggle the mind and provoke some strong reactions — something that could lend perspective to Brooker and friends for the future. They created a streaming monster, and the wave’s gotta crash on its own now.
Speaking of numbers, Brooker recently admitted to The Wrap that he’s keen to see Netflix’s viewing numbers for Bandersnatch, but with a catch. “Only if it’s more than Bird Box,” he stipulated. “If it’s one less than Bird Box, I hope they never tell anyone.” Well, Netflix claimed that Bird Box streamed on 45 million accounts, and Nielsen revealed that at least 26 million of those views were U.S. based, so that’s quite a set of numbers to defeat. And now the choice to release Bandersnatch numbers (or not) is up to Netflix.