Death to 2020 - Black Mirror Netflix comedy special: When is the Charlie Brooker film released? Who are the cast? Watch the trailer

Black Mirror writers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones reveal their new project, a comedy event that looks back at the dreadful year that was 2020.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 21 December 2020 - 5.48pm
Netflix Comedy

Black Mirror

There have been plenty of points during 2020 when people might have felt like they were living in an episode of Black Mirror.

And the creators of the hit dystopian drama series, Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones, have noticed that the events of the past 12 months have been so bleak that it’s doing them out of a job.

But that hasn’t stopped them from ending the year with a look back at everything that’s happened and giving 2020 their own unique spin.

Death to 2020 is a Netflix comedy event from Brooker and Jones, which features an all-star cast and archive footage from “the year you really, really don’t want to remember”.

What is Death to 2020?

Black Mirror creators and writers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones Getty

Netflix have revealed the following description of Death to 2020:

2020
A year so [insert adjective of choice here], even the creators of Black Mirror couldn’t make it up… but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a little something to add. Death to 2020 is a comedy event that tells the story of the dreadful year that was — and perhaps still is? This landmark documentary-style special weaves together some of the world’s most (fictitious) renowned voices with real-life archival footage spanning the past 12 months.

Confirmed guests in the special include Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Grant, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Samson Kayo, Leslie Jones, Diane Morgan, Cristin Milioti, Joe Keery and more.

Charlie Brooker Getty

Explaining the making of the series, Brooker said: "Those who only know me through Black Mirror may not realize that when not writing speculative sci-fi about people frowning at smartphones, I’ve spent years making comedy shows in the UK -  including many topical comedy specials.

"So to me, Death to 2020 feels like the collision of several different strands. (Do strands ‘collide'? No. Apologies). But the approach for this is quite different to most of the topical comedy I’ve done in the past. For one thing I'm not on screen presenting it -  a relief for anyone watching in 4K - and it's more character-based. In the loneliest year on record, I got to work (remotely) with writers and team members from my previous comedies, as well as many sickeningly talented people who were new to me."

"Death to 2020 features fictional characters discussing real events in a bombastic mockumentary, but quite a bit sillier than that makes it sound. It felt like an apt format for Netflix, which is known for high-end documentaries, but also like a good opportunity to create a different kind of comedy special that deals with the year head-on while also showcasing some brilliant performers.

Lisa Kudrow in Death to 2020 Netflix

"I don’t love the word "satire" but there’s some of that here, alongside some angry jokes, and some goofy jokes. And hopefully viewers will find at least one joke to their liking — because let’s face it, in 2020, any laugh you can emit, no matter how fleeting, is a small but precious victory."

Brooker wrote the special with Tom Baker, Kemah Bob, Ken Bordell, Munya Chawawa, Constance Cheng, Alan Connor, Erika Ehler, Charlie George, Eli Goldstone, Mollie Goodfellow, Jason Hazeley, Angelo Irving, Kae Kurd, Ali Marlow, Thanyia Moore, Joel Morris and Michael Odewale.

Watch the teaser trailer

The fictitious documentary-style format suggests that fans of Brooker’s Wipe series will love this special.

Cast and characters

Samuel L Jackson in Death to 2020 Netflix

The show has revealed the following infomation about the main cast of the show and the characters they will be playing:

Samuel L. Jackson as Dash Bracket - Reporter, New Yorkerly News

Hugh Grant as Tennyson Foss - Professor of History

Kumail Nanjiani as Bark Multiverse - CEO, Shreekr

Tracey Ullman as Queen Elizabeth II - Monarch and Figurehead

Samson Kayo as Pyrex Flask - Scientist

Lisa Kudrow as Jeanetta Grace Susan - Non-Official Spokesperson

Diane Morgan as Gemma Nerrick - Average Citizen

Leslie Jones as Dr. Maggie Gravel - Behavioral Psychologist

Cristin Milioti as Kathy Flowers - Soccer Mom

Joe Keery as Duke Goolies - Gig Economy Millennial

Laurence Fishburne as Narrator

When is Death to 2020 released?

The comedy event will be released on Netflix soon.

As soon as a confirmed release date is announced, we’ll let you know.

Watch this if you liked…

Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe, Black Mirror,  A Year in the Life of a Year, Time Trumpet, Cunk on Britain.

Will there be a Black Mirror season 6?

The release of Death to 2020 is only going to increase speculation about a possible return for Black Mirror in 2021. However, fans hoping for new episodes any time soon should probably temper their expectations.

Brooker told the Radio Times that he had been "busy doing other things" when asked about progress on season 6.

“At the moment, I don’t know what stomach there would be for stories about societies falling apart, so I’m not working away on one of those," he said, alluding to the global pandemic.

"I’m sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I’ve been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh."

Season 5 of Black Mirror was released in 2019, but was shortened to just three episodes after the huge amount of work that went into the Choose Your Own Adventure special episode Bandersnatch.

With filming restrictions caused by Covid and the writing team busy with Death to 2020, we suspect any new episodes and a sixth season could be a long while off yet.

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