Warner Bros. to turn episode of "Black Mirror" into feature film

Robert Downey Jr. will produce the movie based on "The Entire History of You" from the sci-fi series

By Prachi Gupta

Published February 12, 2013 4:30PM (EST)

Warner Bros. has picked an episode of Charlie Booker's British sci-fi series, "Black Mirror" to turn into a full-length feature film, which in November won the International Emmy Award for best TV mini-series.

For those unfamiliar with the show, Booker described it in The Guardian as a modern-day version of "The Twilight Zone." It tackles the dissonance between the routine things we do, like tweet and talk to smartphones, and the fact "that just five years ago would scarcely have made sense to us." Booker expounded:

This area – between delight and discomfort – is where Black Mirror, my new drama series, is set. The "black mirror" of the title is the one you'll find on every wall, on every desk, in the palm of every hand: the cold, shiny screen of a TV, a monitor, a smartphone. The series was inspired, indirectly, by The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling's hugely entertaining TV series of the late 50s and early 60s, sometimes incorrectly dismissed as a camp exercise in twist-in-the-tale sci-fi. It was far more than that. Serling, a brilliant writer, created The Twilight Zone because he was tired of having his provocative teleplays about contemporary issues routinely censored in order to appease corporate sponsors. If he wrote about racism in a southern town, he had to fight the network over every line. But if he wrote about racism in a metaphorical, quasi-fictional world – suddenly he could say everything he wanted.

Because the series focuses on "the way we live now," "each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality," Booker explained.  The particular episode Warner Bros. will produce, "The Entire History of You," is about a man who, thanks to an implant, can re-watch all of his life experiences; he suspects his wife may be cheating on him and combs through his memories for traces of evidence.

The film, however, will use the episode as a launching point from where it will take the story further. From the Hollywood Reporter:

For the film version, the story will be set in a near future where technology that allows users to re-experience past events, and follow a man who reconstructs his relationship to his dead wife - from her point of-view - and unknowingly uncovers a vast conspiracy.

"Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr. will produce the film, but as of yet has no plans to star in it. Jesse Armstrong, who penned the episode script, will also write the screenplay.

Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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