The film is in 'development hell' - but should it really happen?
When Charlie Brooker's 'Black Mirror' first launched on Channel 4, it was a mind-blowing piece of television that exceeded all small-screen expectations. Since it's move to Netflix, that hasn't changed, and nor is it likely to if Charlie Brooker continues to be at the helm. But what of a 'Black Mirror' feature film?
Charlie Brooker at the Royal Television Society Awards
Back in 2013, it was announced that Robert Downey Jr. had acquired the rights to produce a film version of 'The Entire History of You', which is the third and final episode of the first series. Now, though, it's been reported that the project is in 'development hell' and, to be entirely honest, we're a bit glad about that.
'I think it's now available again so let's make this interview an advertisement that someone else can option it', the episode's writer Jesse Armstrong told Yahoo Movies UK. 'It's not currently being made. It's in development hell! It's not progressing but we do [want it made].'
There's certainly nothing wrong with the episode. It explores a futuristic reality where most people have tiny 'grains' in their head which records all their visual and audio experiences. It allows a person to revisit any memory they choose while the 'grain' has been implanted, and delete any unwanted footage, either in their eyes or on a video projector.
In the story, a couple called Liam (Toby Kebbell) and Ffion (Jodie Whittaker) arrange a dinner party with some old friends, and Liam eventually becomes extremely suspicious of the way she is around one of the guests. After scrutinising her behaviour through all the 'footage' of the night, she is forced to admit that she once slept with the guest and only then it is revealed that Liam is not the father of their baby daughter.
The episode explores a new kind of emotional abuse, while throwing up questions about people's desire to record their lives versus their desire for privacy - a common theme in 'Black Mirror'. It works as an episode, as a short film. But the most impressive thing about 'Black Mirror' is its ability to delve quickly and seamlessly into the depths of a societal concept without the need for distracting subplots.
Conversely, a film would over-complicate the themes of the episode. And as much as it would be an enjoyable experience for fans, it would be in danger of becoming over-done and instead of remaining a relationship drama with futuristic elements, a film budget could push it into neo-noir science fiction territory.
Much like when 'The Twilight Zone' was made into a movie back in 1983, we reckon 'Black Mirror: The Movie' would be simply 'okay'.