When Netflix bought Black Mirror from Channel 4, the initial announcement told us to expect twelve new episodes from Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ misery-inducing anthology series.
So far, six of these stories have arrived online, and Brooker has told us to expect more of a lighter look at the emotional minefield of technology with the next lot.
“I do think that at the moment, as we’re doing new episodes, there’s a limit to how much constant nihilistic bleakness I can take,” he told The Telegraph.
“And the world is in a place at the moment where I think maybe people appreciate things that aren’t so unremittingly horrible. But you also don’t want to short-change people on the unremitting horribleness.”
So, could we see more episodes like last season’s stand-out San Junipero this time around? We’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, here’s everything we do know about the fourth season of the show…
Black Mirror season 4 episodes
All the way back in October, creator Charlie Brooker confirmed that he was already halfway through writing the fourth season of Black Mirror, and that there’ll be at least one big surprise in store for us when it drops.
“Weirdly, we are… [long pause] We’re doing an episode that’s different.” he said to The Independent. “I can’t say anything about it, but we’re doing one that’s in a setting we’ve never done before. But I have been thinking about how we would do medieval times and things like that.”
And when the interviewer suggested a space-based instalment, Brooker apparently glanced at him “suspiciously” before saying, “Yeah, there’s still settings we haven’t done that are in the pipeline.”
Earlier this month, he expanded on the current state of the season’s development.
“We’ve got one that’s overtly comic, much more overtly comic than anything we’ve done. It’s got fairly mainstream comic elements, but also some really unpleasant stuff that happens. I haven’t even seen the rough cut of it yet. The one we’re about to shoot is a crime thriller. And we’re doing one that’s got relationships at the heart of it. And then five and six are slightly still up for grabs.”
Brooker’s comment about upcoming directors is probably the most interesting nugget from this interview:
“We’ve had people who’ve approached us that we really want to work with that schedule-wise we haven’t been able to get things to work, so that’s frustrating. But we’re very fortunate. Do you know Jodie Foster’s directing one for season four? So that’s quite good.”
Yep, that’s Jodie Foster the Oscar-winning actress who recently directed George Clooney in Money Monster and Mel Gibson in The Beaver. You could argue that “quite good” is a bit of an understatement, even though Foster has helmed episodes of Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards for Netflix before.
Of course, Black Mirror is no stranger to big name directors – lest we forget that Joe Wright and Dan Trachtenberg both followed major movies by helming episodes for series 3 – but this still feels like an especially impressive piece of recruitment.
And since that interview, Variety has broken the news that Foster’s episode will star Cinderella Man and La La Land actress Rosemarie DeWitt.
Brooker has also since stated that Foster’s episode has “more got the tone of an indie movie, an indie drama. There’s a mother and daughter relationship in it.”
Netflix announced that an upcoming Black Mirror season 4 episode will be directed John Hillcoat (Triple 9, Lawless). According to rumours, the episode will be called ‘Crocodile.’
Hillcoat made his feature debut with the film Ghosts…Of The Civil Dead and followed that up with the critically acclaimed movie The Proposition. He also directed the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which starred Viggo Mortenson and Charlize Theron. Hillcoat is also known for his collaborations with his teenage friend Nick Cave, who wrote and performed music for the director’s films and helmed some of the musician’s music videos. The director has also worked with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Costello, Depeche Mode, and Robert Plant.
Tracking Board has reported that his episode will feature two female protagonists and that Andrea Riseborough (Birdman) is in talks to play one of them.
British actress Riseborough recently co-starred in Nocturnal Animals, directed by Tom Ford. She is slated to appear in The Death Of Stalin, the upcoming political satire that will be directed by Armando Iannucci, who created HBO’s Veep. She will also be featured the independent thriller Nancy Burden, which will be about the Ku Klux Klan and Battle Of The Sexes, Fox Searchlight’s movie about the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.
Black Mirror season 4 release date
Charlie Brooker has been keeping fans up to date with the progress of Black Mirror‘s fourth season, which is still currently shooting. We’ll bring you any news from Netflix regarding the release date as we have it, of course, but as the third season landed in October of last year, another autumn start could be likely.