One of the great delights of 2016 at the movies thus far has been Dan Trachtenberg‘s 10 Cloverfield Lane, a hugely inventive extension of Matt Reeves‘ Cloverfield and a wonderfully self-contained thriller with superb performances from the likes of John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. And it’s not just becuase the film proved to be so tightly written and expertly paced with its reveals, but specifically because of the way Trachtenberg laid the film out visually, the way he was able to turn a relatively small set into such an expansive living world.
I expect Trachtenberg will be fielding a number of major offers by the time the year is out but that doesn’t mean the young filmmaker is taking it easy while his little wonder makes some sizable amount of dough, both domestically and internationally. News arrived today, via Deadline, that Trachtenberg will be helming an episode of Netflix’s expansion of Channel 4’s beloved Black Mirror, the overtly dark, cynical sci-fi series that looks to replicate the short-film format of something like The Twilight Zone. This announcement quickly follows up word that Oscar-nominated director Joe Wright will also be directing an episode of the series, as will Jakob Verbruggen, the talented TV director who has helmed major episodes of House of Cards and FX’s undervalued The Bridge.
Full disclosure: I find the original Black Mirror almost laughable in its cynical view of the world to come. There’s a point where if you see the absolute worst of what’s going to happen in the years ahead, and the most horrible ways in which humans behave, you become just as predictable and ignorable as films and TV shows that focus on the soft, safe side of things, and that’s where Black Mirror has often landed with me. Still, if the new series of episodes attracts an array of talent as distinct as Wright, Verbruggen, and Trachtenberg, it will be impossible to not give the Netflix show a chance.