Celebrated comic book writer and novelist Warren Ellis has revealed that he was originally offered the role of Jerome F. Davies in the Netflix feature film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
"True story: I was asked to play the role of the mysterious author Jerome F Davies in BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH,” Ellis wrote in today's edition of his email newsletter Orbital Operations. “They asked me in late March 2018, for an early April shoot. Three days, and one of the days had not yet been specified. Six hours' train travel a day to get to the location and back."
Ellis said that he was too busy working on Netflix's Castlevania "to burn three days, with the possibility that the floating day (the actual filming day) would be one I couldn't do.”
In the movie, Jerome F. Davies was the troubled author of Bandersnatch, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style novel that Fionn Whitehead's Stefan is attempting to adapt into a video game in 1984. In the process of trying to adapt the novel, Stefan’s descent into madness began to mirror Davies as both characters are haunted by a symbol of “a branching pathway” that drives them to madness. Instead of Ellis, Davies was portrayed by independent game developer Jeff Minter.
Beyond its plot, Bandersnatch has earned headlines for its interactive storyline that lets viewers control the action on-screen, like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure novel.
Despite having turned down the role, Ellis was still grateful to have been asked or as he put it “ So hey, I was almost “that thing you have to look up on a Wikipedia page.”
Warren Ellis is an English comic book writer, novelist, and screenwriter known as the co-creator of The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Global Frequency, Red and Injection. He has worked on a number of different projects for different publishers such as Marvel, DC, Image, Dynamite and Avatar Press as well as his individual novels and video game work.
Directed by David Slade from a script by series creator Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch stars Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, Asim Chaudhry and Jeff Minter. Bandersnatch is available to stream through Netflix.