Steven Soderbergh Is Creating A "Choose Your Own Adventure" Show For HBO

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(Source) —  Back in 2015, we reported that the then-retired Steven Soderbergh was developing a movie for HBO that would involve viewers using an app of some kind that would impact the film’s ending. Apps have only become more and more exciting since then, but we still hadn’t seen or heard much from Soderbergh’s project beyond the fact that it’s called Mosaic and will star Sharon Stone and Garrett Hedlund. Now, Soderbergh has given a lengthy interview to Film Comment in which he offers some more details about Mosaic and its weird app thing.

For starters, Mosaic is a TV show now, with Soderbergh saying that “a linear episodic version” will air on HBO next year, but it’s also more of a “branching narrative piece” than your average TV series. That’s where the app comes in, but this won’t be some kind of American Idol thing where HBO viewers can vote on what happens to Stone and Hedlund. Soderbergh says Mosaic is a “fixed universe” and the choices you make in the app don’t actually impact what happens in the story. Instead, it sounds like the app will allow viewers to rearrange the story into a different order, or at least view things in any order they choose.

Soderbergh apparently always intended the “choose your own adventure” app version to be the main way to consume the Mosaic, but he offered the “linear episodic version” to HBO after realizing that he had too much content for the app. That means you’ll get a slightly different experience with both, beyond the fact that one involves just sitting down and watching it while the other will require you to tap your phone or hit the Apple TV button a few times over the course of the six-hour series.

I don’t know if this is the “future” of television but god I hope not. Call me old fashioned but one of my favorite parts of television is discussing it with friends. Dude did you see Shooter? How funny was Sunny? Are those relatives gonna fuck on Thrones, or what? Stuff like that. It’s fun shit to talk about and it’s a good way to pick up on stuff you missed. What if I’m the only guy who chose my adventure at the office next day? Boy, will I feel silly. I’ll feel like I didn’t get invited to the party and I’ll have to sit in solitude like a doofus. I’ll be listening to everyone discuss their awesome episode and have no idea what they’re talking about, like when you used to walk out of a test talking about what answers you got. Only I’ll have totally different answers so I’ll be forced to nod along and say, “Oh ya ya, that’s definitely what I put too.” Very embarrassing.

Also, why the fuck would Soderbergh do this? Aside from alienating viewers and kind’ve ruining the free promotion you get at office coolers, this sounds hard as SHIT. I have no idea how you write like a bunch linear episodes and keep all that shit straight. You’re Steven Soderbergh, dude. You’ve made it. Quit trying so hard and just rest on your laurels. Get some producer tags and sit at home and count your money.

I’m obviously gonna watch the hell out of this and it’s probably going to be pretty cool, but it just seems to be a bit much if you ask me. We don’t need TV reinvented so we have to use our brains while watching, if I wanted to do that I’d read a book.