'Death to 2020': what we know about new mockumentary from 'Black Mirror' creators

The Netflix film has plenty of star power as it features actors such as Samuel L Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Hugh Grant and more

For most, 2020 spared no punches. One of the most challenging years in recent memory has many ready to swiftly move on to 2021.

It seems Black Mirror creators Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones feel the same as the duo are set to release a new Netflix project titled Death to 2020.

What is 'Death to 2020'?

Contrary to what we may expect from the minds behind the existential sci-fi horror series Black Mirror, Death to 2020 is going to be a mockumentary. It's a satirical look back at some of the terrible events of the year. Netflix describes the project as "a cathartic comedy event you'll never forget".

When will it premiere? 

The mockumentary premieres on Netflix on Sunday, December 27.

Who is in 'Death to 2020'? 

The project has a stellar cast. Starring Samuel L Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, Hugh Grant, Leslie Jones and Tracey Ullman, you’ll certainly see more than a few familiar faces. But they won’t be playing themselves. Rather, they’ll be acting as political figures, monarchs and everyday people giving their personal twist on why this year was so horrible.

Despite the famous names, it'll probably take a second to identify some of the actors. In the trailer, we see a barely-recognisable Grant playing an intellectual with an alcohol addiction, Kudrow portraying a Republican politician, and Ullman taking on the role of the Queen of England.

What does Netflix say about the show?

Netflix's synopsis for the project reads: "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."

What does Charlie Brooker say about it? 

"I don't love the word 'satire' but there's some of that here, alongside some angry jokes, and some goofy jokes," Brooker told the British magazine Radio Times. "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."

Earlier this year, Brooker hinted to Radio Times that he wanted to go back to writing comedy. "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. I'm sort of keen to revisit my comic skill set, so I've been writing scripts aimed at making myself laugh."

Between clips of protests in the US and close-ups of an animated coronavirus particle seen in the trailer, it is clear the mockumentary will give a sweeping retrospective of the year’s most tumultuous events. Whether audiences will react to the film favourably or deem it too soon for a comedic dust-up remains to be seen.

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