The American Black Mirror Remake You Didn't Ask for Is Now in Development

This is why we can't have nice things.

According to Variety, the new heads of production company Endemol Shine North America want to adapt the Twilight Zone-esque U.K. sci-fi series Black Mirror for American audiences, because U.S. remakes of British shows have always worked out so well in the past.

Thousands of Yankee eyeballs were recently introduced to the brilliant, clever, and twisted beauty of Black Mirror when the first six episodes (more have been commissioned) arrived on Netflix in early December and quickly earned lots of buzz online. So I suppose it only makes sense that someone now wants to rehash them for seemingly no good reason. It's practically an American tradition at this point!

You really have to wonder why U.S. TV execs put so much effort into copycatting British series, especially since there's no language barrier to deal with. Sure, some of them are successful—USA's Sirens, HBO's Getting On, and Showtime's Shameless come to mind—but unless there's a risk of losing too much of the original work in translation, why bother?


Where do you stand on a possible Black Mirror remake?


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Feb 10, 2015
I should point out that Three's Company was a US remake of a British show. At one time US remakes were fairly successful. But that was before people could easily catch the British show.
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Feb 03, 2015
I have for a long time promoted/fan of Charlie Brooker since his Guardian columns, his books (TV Go home ect.) and various tv shows. One of the voices in my head is his rantings...
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Feb 02, 2015
It'll be the same showrunner in charge so, although we didn't ask for it, and I dont really think it's necessary, I'm fine with it happening. It's bound to be somewhat different.

I think it's because of the rise in popularity of the anthology format in TV shows. AHS, True Detective, Fargo, etc.
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Feb 03, 2015
I don't think so... Charlie Brooker the creator is UK based and would be hypocritical if he suddenly moved to the US!
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Feb 04, 2015
Why would it be hypocritical of him to make an American TV show? Its still his kind of work. And better an adaptation stay In the hands of the original creator, no?
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Feb 04, 2015
"For a U.S. adaption, Brooker would be the showrunner and House of Tomorrow would produce it."
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Feb 04, 2015
http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/netflix-run-brings-u-k-s-black-mirror-into-light-for-u-s-auds-1201380236/
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Feb 06, 2015
Ok he's changed, he used to be against constant remakes/ adaptaions in his Screen Burn columns (sorry I'm old school and used to read the physical copys so I don't have a link).

He did say as the reason why he stopped writing Screen Burn was that he had become to mainstream to continue as he would often bumo into people he ranted at 'showbiz' partys (about the same time he started gelling and tinting the tips of his hair!)
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Feb 01, 2015
Well the concept is absolutely brilliant. But why don't they get decent writers to "copy the concept" and not "rewrite" everything!!!
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Feb 01, 2015
A Remake?! Y?! 0% Chance it'll be better than the original!
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Feb 01, 2015
I feel as though provided they don't attempt to redo episodes, that an effectively done american-based techno-horrish anthology series may have a lot of potential to bring to the table in relation to cultural things specific to the US- If anything I felt like Black Mirror was lacking in scope, though most of the episodes were quite notably good
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Feb 01, 2015
I hope by remake they mean just using the show title and they don't try to redo the episodes.. I don't see why they need a remake to begin with anyway, the original British network should just partner with whatever US network it'll be for and then co-produce them, preferably still using British actors. honestly, I don't think Americans, or let's be honest, Canadians (because a lot of famous "American" actors are actually Canadian), can do it justice.
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Jan 31, 2015
Considering Black Mirror has only run 2 series at 3 episodes a pop, with a recent Christmas special, there's hardly much material to even borrow from, especially when you consider that Black Mirror itself is hardly very original in its premise. While I genuinely very much enjoy Black Mirror, its hardly anything sacred that should never be copied or imitated, it's likely just an attempt to borrow name recognition to draw a wider crowd, sort of like McDonalds in Germany, where they sell Der Nurnberger, because apparently America isn't worthy of a triple-bratwurst sandwich, yet.....
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Feb 01, 2015
Nor beer. :-(
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Feb 01, 2015
That's why Dutch (and probably German) beers so often were remade in the US, using the original 'recipe' but with local materials like the so important water. They tasted different (others say awful) and that's the reason so many of these beers are now imported.

The US public should give the same message to the US producers (of tv remakes).
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Jan 31, 2015
You definitely have a point; most of the remakes are bad. But if there weren't successful shows produced this way it would never be done. And I'd rather see chances taken than not. I can remember the consensus that arrived after the first promotional images of The Office were released. It was "Ugh, not this again. Haven't we learned from all of the others?" Yet it was more successful than the original.

It kind of reminds me of the consensus that often results after talk of a new spinoff. "Why can't we come up with new ideas". But many of the most successful shows have been spinoffs. Overall it's best that they at least tried; it couldn't hurt.


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Jan 31, 2015
Ugh x 1000
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Jan 31, 2015
Ugh. I'm afraid that once again the Brits will have done Sherlock and we'll be getting Elementary. Or any number of instances where the US version of a British show got done. Anybody remember what happened in the 90's when the BBC briefly let the Americans get a hold of Dr. Who? Yeesh. Every now and then something good comes along.....I thought Gracepoint was just about as good as Broadchurch (sans David Tennant's awful American accent in Gracepoint)....but mostly we just screw up British stuff. If it comes on FX or AMC I'll believe it has a chance to be good. If it comes on any of the broadcast networks it'll suck for sure.
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Jan 31, 2015
Ya, THIS is why we can't have nice things.

"You really have to wonder why U.S. TV execs put so much effort into copycatting British series, especially since there's no language barrier to deal with"

But there is an economic barrier. Can't let the BBC make all the money. US TV execs have been ruining shows for decades. Some of those were created in North America, others were European ripoffs. This is a symptom of why we can't have nice things, but we haven't been able to have nice things for a while now.
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Jan 31, 2015
I wouldn't mind it if they did it they simply used the name to get attention and created their own stories in the lines of Outer Limits, Twilight Zone stuff, which is what I always thought of Black Mirror as.... I wouldn't like to see the stories copied though, that always annoys me.
If you wanna copy something, at least take the effort to make it as good as or better than the original. You should have some left over creativity since you didn't have to use any up on having the main idea in the first place, lol.
But then I'm assuming too much maybe by thinking they have some creativity in the first place. :)
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Jan 31, 2015
OMG! This is fantastic news. I really don't know why people are so worried we're going to get an extra 24 superior ep's probably on FOX.
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Feb 01, 2015
Sure! 20 of them are going to be lame as hell... :-P
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Feb 03, 2015
I know! But I'm just thinking about Charlie Brooker he's got two children now to support he needs the £'s

FTW! Check out his FECKED UP! mind, watch the "Screen" series (Burn, News, Game, Weekly Youtube?). Non Uk veiwers might not get all the jokes (but then non US veiwers watch satirical news shows!) but you will be able to see into the mind of the creator of Dead Set and Black Mirror! (Doubling up on my FTW/WTF post!)
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Jan 31, 2015
I'm so tired of remaking things. Come on USA, we can come up with something original, can't we? Oh, maybe not. But still, there's a reason cloning is illegal; the new copy is always somewhat off. I think we can all understand British accents, people. If the US wants it, they need to make it completely different, like completely. Hopefully no one tries a Downton Abbey remake, egads the horror. We're just having a creative lull at the moment. How about some more books to miniseries? Let's all just applaud the UK for coming out with something great with Black Mirror and stop trying to twist it to our benefit, yeah.
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Jan 31, 2015
I agree with you so much. There are just MILLIONS of wonderful books everywhere! Lots of pre-existing good stories that haven't appeared on the screen!
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Jan 31, 2015
When it comes to original programming, developers are practically grasping at straws. I think thats why good originals hit huge over here.
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Jan 31, 2015
But accents are scarry, you should never trust someone with an accent. Just look to films most of the time the bad guys a Brit or a British actor putting on a foreign accent (Alan Rickman as Hans Grube in Die Hard).

Yes a US version of Downton Abbey would be great but set in Vegas with gangsters, guns, explotions! Hugh Bonneville as the head of a large crime family (he literally has evil in his name!)

I call dibs I'm off to pitch this now!
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Feb 01, 2015
We all have an accent LOL!
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Feb 01, 2015
You know, to everyone else in the world, you have an accent too. Which in effect (according to your logic) means 'you' could be the Russian Die Hard's Hans Gruber.
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Feb 03, 2015
Yeah but I'm just a sarcastic Brit from Norfolk but without the accent!
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Jan 31, 2015
Umm it worked out well for Being Human and Shameless. So every now and then it does work. Who knows until we see it. Then let's make that judgement. I'm more mad that they used Black Mirror and it has nothing to do with the actual game. That would have been something.
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Jan 31, 2015
Of course they would have to dumb it down and take out all the irreverence and controversy - because Americans are really stupid and their feelings get hurt very easily.
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Jan 31, 2015
Hey, make the show global. Expand on the original and allow other writer/directors to helm an episode!

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Jan 31, 2015
NO. the only reason this is happening is because it became popular. More people are finding out about this amazing show and it is currently easy to watch. Leave it alone, silly Americans
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Jan 31, 2015
Ugh. That's where I stand.
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Jan 31, 2015
Black Mirror is brilliant as is. The intelligence in it will probably get lost as americans tend to crave easier and more mainstream tv.
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Jan 31, 2015
I've never considered Black Mirror very "British", sure it's a Channel4 production, but despite the actors being English (Welsh?), it doesn't ever really feel exclusively British. So much of the technology and media involved in it causes it to transcend any regional barriers.
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Feb 01, 2015
It's the "treatment", the "vision", the "approach",,,
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Feb 01, 2015
I'll agree with the "approach" completely, but not the "vision", and the "treatment" is really an issue of budget, not much else.
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Jan 31, 2015
If they try to make it a word for word copy with American actors it will be terrible. I think we can all agree from the vast amount of failures that that does not work. It's actually really boring if you've seen the original. But...it could maybe work if they took the bare bones of it for inspiration and came up with something new?
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Jan 31, 2015
I think there is a notable difference between Us and british fiction of this type. British tend to see future where governemnt will get increasingly involved in everything and surveilance spreading but whole society will not turn into 1984 type of dystopis. Wheres US shows of same type would see same outcome as bleak dystopia. Imagine Entire History of you or White Christmas as US shows. US shows would see these microchips, ability to separate your pesonality etc as cornerstones of dictatorship but Black Mirror just sees them as not entirely pleasant things but something that will come naturally and focuses on how this affects relationships between people rather than what they actually do.

Such differences don't travel well across The Pond, which is why direct remakes wouldn't work well. Adapting it loses the original point.

I'd agree with others who said that since this is similar to Outer Limits why not restart that show. I mean, The Twilight Zone got rebooted twice.
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Jan 31, 2015
Yes it's an anthology show but do you really think the US network WON'T remake the original UK episodes? Of course the will!
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Jan 31, 2015
To be fair, there's really only about 7 episodes to remake, which is barely half a season even by American short-run standards. Heck, not even 1/3 of a season by traditional 22 episode standard.
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Jan 31, 2015
I so completely agree! why the arrogant attitude to not wanting to watch the original? is this: "no, we make our own, we are better, we understand each other, they don´t understand us". One thing for sure, Americans keep on closing down the curtains to foreign culture, wait, to the whole outside world. Ok, so yes, keep living in a bubble.
Black Mirror in it´s original is beautiful and brilliant. It should be watch as it is, not in a remake with American accents. Many thumbs down for this.
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Jan 31, 2015
While I think it's completely likely that they'll remake all 7 episodes of the original for American audiences, I'm more interested to see them take the production further, especially since most American broadcasts now typically run about 12-13 episodes per season, not the 3 that Black Mirror has thus far.
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Feb 01, 2015
The idea that more is better makes no sense to me. The quality of the originals should be preserved. It´ incredible that there are none creative people in USA to make their own original shows. I never seen British, or French or Australians or German or Israelies (created Homeland) shows being remakes of American shows.
Anyway, in UK they make shorter seasons but each episode is good, not filling episodes. And breaks in between seasons are not so long.
Again, is not about the number of episodes, but about the quality of each one, and for me, the 7 original episodes were just fine. I don´t need more than that.
This goes also for the crazy psychotic need of American producers and movie makers to keep making (terrible) sequels to so many movies, and like that, ruining the first movie that was originally done.
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Feb 01, 2015
I disagree, there is no lack of creative individuals in the USA, there isn't even a lack of people willing to gamble on their success, the problem is, the general American public isn't open to new experiences or the unfamiliar. As for other countries not adapting US shows, that's usually a matter of foreign production companies not having the budget to afford the production rights of American shows. Still, there's always Law & Order UK, and the continuously rumored 24 UK to consider.
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Feb 02, 2015
Well, when you only have about 7 episodes to base your adaptation on, you're sure as hell going to need to be pretty inspired by the original to keep things moving along. The only difference in this case is they're keeping the name too. Hardly a difference worth splitting hairs over in this case.
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Feb 02, 2015
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has often said that the series is inspired in the The Twilight Zone. Inspired, not a remake. That is a very different thing. As much modern American Sci FI is inspired in Doctor Who ;)
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Feb 02, 2015
@ale00929 And yet, Black Mirror itself is basically just a ripoff of The Outer Limits....
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Feb 01, 2015
There are plenty of excellent TV shows to watch outside those made in USA, so no need to remake American shows. Nobody outside USA wish to see a remake of The Big Bang Theory speaking french. We who live outside USA watch not only shows made in America, and movies too, in different languages. You said there is no lack of creative individuals in the USA? I can think of maybe 10-15 shows in the last 15 years that really are 100% original and not a copy of something done 20 times already. I could name some: Six Feet Under, Lost, Firefly, 24, Dexter, Fringe, Breaking Bad, The Americans, Rectify. I see how many pilots of shows have premier every single year, and regardless of the genres, it is always the same old story, just with different actors, writers and producers. So I don´t agree with you there.
Sorry.
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Jan 31, 2015
I, personally, prefer most UK dark comedies/satires over American. They do it brilliantly and this type "humor," or sensibility, strikes me as more integral to UK cultures. That's not to say that aren't excellent North American productions in this vein. (The dark humor in Six Feet Under was fantastic, for example. The scripts were terrific. And, of course, The Twilight Zone.) American humor, generally, leans in other directions and excels in other areas comedically. I think it simply reflects some cultural differences.
I'm not quite sure that it's rightly called, or at least, simply a "sci-fi" series. (And I realize that, in line with reporting practices, Kaitlin is rightly echoing Variety's choice of terminology here.) It's a brilliant show with a considerable amount of complexity in terms of genre. But I'm just nitpicking.

At any rate, I would prefer a brand new show. They could put their own twist on a series or use a new concept, even while still including stories about technology. As so often seems the case these days, originality is in short supply with those who have money to bring productions to fruition.

The format of shows like Black Mirror and Twilight Zone are among my favourites and I"m glad that they're being made. I'll hope for the best.
More+
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Jan 31, 2015
I'm interested. I really like that the US is doing more anthology style hows now. It keeps it interesting. White Bear was one of the best pieces of television I saw last year. My question is which channel gets it? That is important.
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Jan 31, 2015
As noted earlier, it's an anthology, so there isn't anything to remake.

However, Black Mirror is basically a remake of the newer Outer Limits. So as also noted, why not just dust off Outer Limits for a third go-round?
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Jan 31, 2015
Maybe the US producers *really* want to make an episode about a high-level US official and a pig? That would at least be a remake of the first episode of the series. I can see how the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits franchises wouldn't want such "crass"(?) or "bleak" stories in their arsenal.

I have only seen the first season of Dark Mirror, but the episodes didn't have the same feel as those two series, old (c.1960) or new (c.2000), to me.
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Jan 31, 2015
It is even more of a puzzle now that so many British actors regularly appear on US television. Just look at the most recent episode which stared John Hamm, Ona Chaplin, Natalia Tena (Harry Potter, Game of Thrones), and Janet Montgomery, who I constantly forget is British.

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Jan 31, 2015
I don't see that it's necessary, but it happens. Maybe they think these are proven ideas and a safer bet than a new show, but that's clearly not the case. However, some remakes are quite successful (Shameless, Veep, and The Office, to name some other recent ones).

Digging around on the interwebs, I found that the Brits have tried remaking some US successes, and some of those were pretty awful, too. (linky)
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Jan 31, 2015
There is a difference between being inspired by and making a direct remake.
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Jan 31, 2015
Sure, but the ones I mention are clearly remakes or adaptations. I never claimed "direct remake" (is that the same as "nearly word-for-word"?). Though the descriptions of some the British remakes do mention "nearly word-for-word" or using scripts from the US versions.
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Jan 31, 2015
I'm done getting upset at networks or cable making or remaking shows. Great shows are made/remade, and horrible shows are made/remade. My DVR is constantly full of great content. Knock yourselves out.
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Jan 31, 2015
That's what I call "aggressive Nirvana"! Cheers!
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Jan 31, 2015
You forgot about house of cards. I really don't want another remake. Enough is enough.
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Jan 31, 2015
I have absolutely no idea what you're all going on about. This isn't Broadchurch, in which a single, linear storyline is being re-told with different actors. This is an anthology show, one bursting at the seams with storytelling possibilities---possibilities the Brits have barely touched upon with their miserly three-eps-or-less-per-season production schedule.

There's plenty of room for another Black Mirror, and to compare it to the remake of Broadchurch is just ridiculous.
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Jan 31, 2015
The level of agreement I have with your statement could fill a stadium. 7 episodes of an anthology series spread across nearly 3 years is being adapted for American audiences, which will likely see about 12 episodes in just its first season alone, yet everyone is outraged by this? That's like being outraged someone brought you a 12 pack of locally brewed draft, but you're pissed off it isn't the 1 bottle of bullshit, overpriced English lager you had to wait 4 months to ship to the US...
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Jan 31, 2015
Remake no. Spinoff maybe. Should probably dust off The Outer Limits if they want to tell scary stories about human nature run amok.
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Jan 31, 2015
Further proof that Black Mirror is hardly original or innovative, just current....
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Jan 31, 2015
Oh god.
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