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Netflix's Black Mirror has attracted some huge names to step in front of the camera over the years, but behind the camera, it has now arguably locked down its most prominent director yet for Season 4, in the form of Jodie Foster. The Hollywood icon has worked for the streaming service before by directing episodes of Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, and according to Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, she engaged with the material of the tech-based thriller series in ways that he couldn't have anticipated. Brooker explained:
We had a Skype conversation during which I managed to keep my cool and not freak out. She responded to the script and she had a lot of thoughts and suggestions on the characters so there were a lot of adjustments. She's not just a gun for hire; she's incredibly intelligent and comes in with some thoughts on the material. Which is what you want in a director because each story is a standalone [episode], so you want each to be idiosyncratic to that director. And she brought a lot of that.
While quite a bit of Jodie Foster's episode of Black Mirror (titled "Arkangel") was already on the page when the story got to her, she was apparently incredibly willing to sit down and dive into the material. Per Charlie Brooker's recollection of her involvement with the show, she played a significant role in fleshing out the narrative, and putting a personal stamp on the project. She wasn't just there to pick up a paycheck; she specifically wanted to add characteristics and trademarks that felt unique to her sensibilities as a filmmaker to give the episode a proper beginning, middle, and ending.
Elsewhere in his interview with EW, Charlie Brooker elaborated further on Jodie Foster's personal touch for "Arkangel" and addressed what she brought to the script. What he eventually discovered through his work with her on the show is that The Silence of the Lambs actress brought an "indie drama" sensibility that blended neatly with Black Mirror's familiar themes and storylines.
Like many episodes of Black Mirror, "Arkangel" focuses on the progression of technology and the consequences of its possible misuse. In this particular episode, that idea takes the form of a mother who decides to embrace a new technology that will help her monitor and control her daughter, after a scare at a local park. If you know anything about Black Mirror, then you can probably already assume that it doesn't go according to plan.
Black Mirror will return to Netflix for its six-episode fourth season on Friday, December 29. Beyond that, CinemaBlend's fall premiere guide, as well as our midseason premiere guide and Netflix premiere guide are all available for you to catch yourself up on the most significant premiere dates of the next few months, and you can also listen to the most recent episode of The Cord Cutter Podcast to hear what we have to say about the world of streaming content.