Never one to shy away from narrative experimentation, Steven Soderbergh is reportedly working with HBO on a mysterious project that'll break new ground in terms of viewer interactivity. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the project is a movie called Mosaic, and it's set to star Sharon Stone — and if Soderbergh has his way, it'll allow viewers to shape the plot and choose from multiple endings using an app. HBO hasn't offered up any concrete details save a cryptic statement from Soderbergh:
"I believe the good people at HBO are genuinely enthusiastic about Mosaic for two reasons: First, it represents a fresh way of experiencing a story and sharing that experience with others; second, it will require a new Emmy category, and we will be the only eligible nominee."
Mosaic is still largely a mystery, but it sounds a little like TV's first steps toward the kind of interactive narrative developer Remedy is building with Quantum Break, their long-gestating Xbox One game. Quantum Break approaches the concept from a different side of the spectrum — a TV show supporting an interactive component, not the other way around — but both would allow players / viewers to shape the narrative with their decisions.
It's not surprising that Soderbergh is involved with a project like this, either: he's one of the most creative and technically skilled directors working in TV and film. Doing TV work has reinvigorated him in recent years, whether through his 2013 HBO movie Behind the Candelabra or his singular work with Clive Owen on Cinemax's The Knick. There's nothing like Mosaic on TV right now — if it can fulfill its wild ambition, it could lift Soderbergh's impressive career to even greater heights.