Mindhunter fans, we’ve got some bad news. Netflix’s crime series inspired by the novel Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit might not be returning for a third season. David Fincher, a director and producer on Mindhunter, originally planned on returning to the show after completing Mank, his soon-to-be-released film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz. However, he now believes that the show is more or less dead.
When asked by Vulture recently if he thought Mindhunter was over, Fincher responded, “I think probably,” in an interview published Friday. “Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about ‘Finish Mank and then see how you feel,’ but I honestly don’t think we’re going to be able to do it for less than I did Season 2. And on some level, you have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs.”
He added, “Mindhunter was a lot for me.” The filmmaker spent several months over the course of three years in Pittsburgh to shoot the series. “We had done the first season of Mindhunter without a showrunner, with me pinch-hitting on a week-by-week basis. We started getting scripts for the second season, and I ended up looking at what was written and deciding I didn’t like any of it. So we tossed it and started over.”
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The amount of work and focus necessary to bring the show to life ended up becoming quite a drain on the notoriously detail-oriented Fincher. “It’s a 90-hour work week. It absorbs everything in your life. When I got done, I was pretty exhausted, and I said, ‘I don’t know if I have it in me right now to break Season 3.’”
In January, Mindhunter stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv were released from their contracts, IndieWire reported earlier this year. This left fans skeptical of there being more episodes of the crime series. The show was believed to be on hold at the time, while Fincher worked on Mank.
“David is focused on directing his first Netflix film Mank and on producing the second season of Love, Death and Robots,” a Netflix representative said at the time. “He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future, but in the meantime felt it wasn’t fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work while he was exploring new work of his own.”
Erik Messerschmidt, Fincher’s cinematographer on Mindhunter, Mank and Gone Girl, also gave a rather grim update to Collider about more Mindhunter this past July.
“We just finished [Mank] and I’ve heard things are on hold for a little bit. We’ll see. Who knows?” Messerschmidt said at the time. “But it would be an honor to go back. I love working with David and adore the cast and the crew, and it’s been an incredible period of my life for certain. I’ve been really blessed to have the opportunity to work on it and contribute to it. It’s been particularly important and poignant in my career. But yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on.”
The first season of Mindhunter premiered in October 2017, and the second season followed in August 2019. Both are currently available to stream on Netflix.
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