‘Black Mirror’ Returns: New Series in the Works at Netflix (EXCLUSIVE)

‘Black Mirror’ Returns: New Series the
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A new series of “Black Mirror” is in the works at Netflix, Variety can reveal.

It’s been almost three years since Season 5 of the dystopian drama premiered on the streaming service in June 2019, but sources indicate that a new anthology series of “Black Mirror” is shaping up, and casting is now underway.

While details about specific stories are being kept under lock and key, Variety understands that Season 6 will have more episodes than Season 5, which comprised of just three instalments and starred Andrew Scott, Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topher Grace and Miley Cyrus.

A source close to the production tells Variety that the latest season is even more cinematic in scope, with each instalment being treated as an individual film. This is, of course, in line with recent seasons of “Black Mirror,” for which episodes usually exceeded 60 minutes and had incredibly high production values.

The new season of “Black Mirror” is the first to emerge since creator Charlie Brooker and his creative partner Annabel Jones left their production company House of Tomorrow, which was backed by Endemol Shine Group, in January 2020. It wasn’t long before the pair set up shop under new production banner Broke and Bones, and Netflix quickly invested in the company through a mega deal in which it acquires parts of the business over a five-year period, for a sum that could reach $100 million.

When Brooker and Jones left House of Tomorrow, however, the rights to “Black Mirror” stayed with parent company Endemol Shine Group, which was ultimately acquired by Banijay Group in the summer of 2020. That arrangement effectively prevented Brooker and Jones from producing any more seasons for Netflix until a deal was hammered out with Banijay, and fans worried that that would be the end of the show.

Brooker himself threw doubt on “Black Mirror’s” future two years ago, telling the U.K.’s Radio Times magazine at the height of the pandemic that, “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. I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh.”

Evidently, a deal was finally reached, and Banijay Rights — the distribution arm of the company that holds both the format and finished-tape rights to “Black Mirror” — has licensed its hit show to Netflix.

Brooker has kept a relatively low profile since joining the Netflix fold. Known for his pithy BBC review formats “Weekly Wipe” and “Screenwipe,” Brooker applied a similar spin to his Netflix year-in-review show “Death to 2020,” which brought in a stable of celebrities to add some star power and deliver Brooker’s jokes themselves. Netflix followed up last year with a “Death to 2021” special. In between that period, he also executive produced the special “Attack of the Hollywood Clichés!”

In February, the streamer launched Brooker’s clever animated interactive short, “Cat Burglar,” which asked viewers to answer trivia questions in order to advance the story of a cat named Rowdy who’s trying to steal art from a museum. The show was a tribute to cartoonist Tex Avery, who helped to create iconic cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

Yet, two years on from joining Netflix, Brooker is still virtually synonymous with “Black Mirror,” and it makes sense that the streamer wants it back on the platform.

Though the show began life on U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, where it aired for two seasons, the format was rendered a global sensation on Netflix with big-budget, celebrity-laden episodes such as “San Junipero” and “USS Callister” taking the dark heart of the show to dizzying heights and picking up a cornucopia of awards in the process.

Netflix and Banijay Rights declined to comment for this story.

From Variety US