David Slade, director of the Netflix episode, admitted that audiences might never be able to view some of the scenes and endings. “There are scenes that some people just will never see, and we had to make sure that we were OK with that,” Slade told The Hollywood Reporter. “We actually shot a scene that we can’t access.”
Netflix officially stated there are five main endings, but there are so many variations that make it difficult to land on an exact number.
“I don’t know how many endings there actually are—I think I’ve forgotten,” Black Mirror creator and writer Charlie Booker told The Hollywood Reporter. “There were quite heated debates about what constitutes an ‘ending.’ There’s a school of thought that says any time it stops and you go back, that’s an ending. In ‘Bandersnatch,’ there are endings that are really abrupt that are still endings, in my mind.”
The Emmy-winning sci-fi series is well versed in freaky storytelling, but this is the first time the viewer determines the fate of the episode’s protagonist.
Netflix collaborated with Booker to produce the episode with its storytelling tool Branch Manager, which is similar to versions found in video games like The Wolf Among Us and The Walking Dead series by Telltale Games.
“While we were coming up with ideas for bits of the story, there would be times where you think, ‘At this point, this or this could happen.’ And it was almost like a whole new wing of your house appeared that you had to furnish and decorate,” Booker explained. “Because our ambitions were so warped, Netflix said we had given them a workout in terms of accelerating the way this system can work. We came up with little things, like small choices that you think mean nothing at the start slightly pay off later on, even if it’s just a little Easter egg.”
The streaming service used simpler versions of the technology in several of its original animated kids shows.
Netflix premiered the episode starring Fionn Whitehead and Will Poulter on Dec. 28 after little promotion and only a single trailer.