Fans of dark hacker drama Mr. Robot are enjoying the first episodes of season 2 right now after the show’s return earlier this month, but that’s not all that we have to look forward to. The series, starring Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson, a talented hacker with some serious issues, has been widely acclaimed. The first season was a roller-coaster ride finishing with one of the biggest twist endings of the year, and since season 2 started up on July 10th, it seems that the show is just getting better and better.
Now, Mr Robot has announced that they will be releasing something very special for fans in the US, in an event created to coincide with the show’s appearance at San Diego Comic-Con. For a few minutes only, the show will be embracing VR to tell a new chapter in the Mr. Robot story.
Variety is reporting that the series will be streaming a 12-minute virtual reality experience Thursday, July 21st at 10:45 am, PST in conjunction with VR film company Within (formerly Vrse). The experience will be available through Within’s app (on iOS, Android, Gear VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift), and most interestingly of all, it will only be available to view during the initial broadcast. That means that there is only one chance to see this new footage – unless you are attending SDCC, in which case you can head to a Mr. Robot pop-up all weekend and check it out. The pop-up is designed to look like the Mr Robot computer repair shop, and can be found at 343 4th Avenue. We don’t know what the VR short film will be about, exactly, but it will “take you into an important flashback from main character Elliot’s past.” It is also written and directed by series creator Sam Esmail.
It has been suggested by Nerdist that this could involve the return of Shayla (Frankie Shaw), a fan-favorite character who was killed off toward the end of season 1. Esmail tweeted that we would be seeing her again just last weekend, and this could be the perfect way to reveal a little more of her history as Elliot’s dealer/connection to humanity. The event could also expand on Elliot’s mental health, his history with his sister, or even his childhood experiences with computers. With a character as complex as Elliot, there are any number of directions that a flashback could take.
This will also be one of the first times that a scripted show has used VR technology in this way – and it should come as no surprise that a show focused on computer technology and surprising its viewers is embracing the new tech. Mr. Robot has kept viewers hooked with shocking twist after shocking twist, and this is a fantastic way to bring that attitude to the ways fans interact with the show.
However, there are some issues with this novel approach. The simulcast will only be available in the US, which is a major disappointment to international fans of the show. It also requires the Within app, which may frustrate fans who are running low on memory space. Finally, the temporary nature of the cast, while a real hook to get people watching, is also an issue for fans who aren’t at SDCC or free for these exact 12 minutes of their Thursday morning. We can continue to hope that the footage is released for more general consumption at a later date.
Mr Robot airs Wednesdays at 10pm on USA. This VR event will take place Thursday, July 21st at 10:45 am PST.