“Choose Your Own Adventure” movies are nothing new. Hollywood experimented with the concept back in the 90s, but nothing really ever came of it. It’s also not new for Netflix, which has used the concept for the kids’ program Puss in Book. But Netflix has never tried it with a marquee title until now.
According to Bloomberg [via Deadline], an upcoming episode of Black Mirror might use the Choose Your Own Ending gimmick in the fifth season, which is due to premiere this December. There are no details on the episode that will use the mechanic, but it’s fitting that it should be Black Mirror. After all, the show is about our tortured relationship to technology, so why not use technology as a way to bring people deeper into the story? Yes, the screenwriter does abdicate an amount of choice, avoiding a single ending and laying it on the viewer to choose the conclusion, but if the episode is well written, it could be a sharp way of telling a particular story. At the very least, it’s not like Black Mirror needs a gimmick to stay popular, so I’m curious to see what the show does with it. Presumably, viewers will be able to go back and try different endings, but it would be very Black Mirror if you were locked into your choice and couldn’t turn back.
It’s worth noting that Black Mirror isn’t the only show to allow viewers to choose their own path. HBO got ambitious with Steven Soderbergh’s Mosaic, which had an app that allowed viewers to see the storyline from different perspectives and play it out in an order of their choosing. That wasn’t quite the same as choosing the plot, but choosing the perspective offered a neat way of telling a story.
Bloomberg also reports that in addition to Black Mirror, Netflix another live-action series is in the final stages of planning a choose-your-own adventure model.