A new cast has signed on for the next season of “Black Mirror,” Variety can reveal.
Netflix’s hit anthology series is gearing up for its long-awaited return and has lined up a star cast for Season 6. The show is now believed to be in production.
Sources indicate that the new faces joining the show are Zazie Beetz, Paapa Essiedu, Josh Hartnett, Aaron Paul, Kate Mara, Danny Ramirez, Clara Rugaard, Auden Thornton and Anjana Vasan. This casting specifically spans three episodes, and it’s understood more actors will join up for further episodes of the show.
Variety first revealed that a new season of the dystopian drama was in the works back in May. Specific details about stories are still being kept under wraps, but Season 6 will have more episodes than Season 5, which comprised of just three instalments and starred Andrew Scott, Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topher Grace and Miley Cyrus.
Beetz is best known for playing Van on FX’s “Atlanta” alongside Donald Glover and LaKeith Stanfield, while Essiedu stars in Sky’s “Gangs of London” and “The Lazarus Project.” Hartnett made a splash in the last year with Sky Atlantic’s “The Fear Index” and will also star in the Christopher Nolan movie “Oppenheimer.”
“Breaking Bad” star Paul appears in the latest season of HBO’s “Westworld” as Caleb Nichols, while Mara starred in Sundance Film Festival favorite “Call Jane.”
Elsewhere, Ramirez was most recently seen in “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Stars at Noon” and will next star in the movie “Look Both Ways,” while Danish actor Rugaard led the Sky series “The Rising.” Thornton played Lucy Damon in NBC tearjerker “This Is Us” and Vasan had her breakout with Channel 4 and Peacock’s punk rock comedy “We Are Lady Parts.”
Strong casting has always played a crucial role in “Black Mirror,” which has served as a launchpad for various actors over the show’s last five seasons.
Memorable performances include Alex Lawther (“The End of the F***ing World”) who, in Season 3 (2016) episode “Shut Up and Dance,” played a teenager blackmailed into committing sordid acts by a hacker; Mackenzie Davis and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who played a couple in a simulated reality for the elderly in the award-winning Season 3 episode “San Junipero”; Andrew Scott as a rideshare driver who takes a tech company intern hostage in Season 5 (2019) episode “Smithereens”; Cristin Milioti as a mysterious new employee aboard a spaceship in Season 4 (2017) episode “USS Callister”; and Joe Cole and Georgina Campbell as a couple who try to be together despite a dating app determining the duration of their relationship in Season 4’s “Hang the DJ.”
It’s been three years since Season 5 of “Black Mirror” premiered on Netflix in June 2019. The forthcoming season is the first to emerge since creator Charlie Brooker and his creative partner Annabel Jones left their production company House of Tomorrow, which was backed by Endemol Shine Group, in January 2020, and set up shop under new production banner Broke and Bones. Netflix invested in the company soon after through a mega deal worth up to $100 million.
The show’s future was thrown into question for a period due to the rights for “Black Mirror” remaining with Endemol Shine, which was acquired by Banijay Group in 2018. However, a deal was eventually hammered out, allowing Banijay to license the show to Netflix.
“Black Mirror” began life on U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, where it aired for two seasons before moving to the streaming giant and gaining a more global profile.
Netflix declined to comment on this story.