Photo Credit: Netflix
After years of speculation, David Fincher has reaffirmed that Mindhunter season 3 is not happening. Speaking to the French publication LeJournal du Dimanche, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker blamed its expensive filming costs and that Netflix made the final decision to put a stop to the series. After two seasons, Fincher moved on to conceive his long-time passion project Mank, and The Killer, hinting that it was his decision to put an indefinite hold on the psychological crime series. But his latest comments suggest that his commitments were not the only things holding back a potential third season of Mindhunter.
“I'm very proud of the first two seasons. But it's a very expensive show and, in the eyes of Netflix, we didn't attract enough of an audience to justify such an investment,” Fincher said in the interview. “I don't blame them, they took risks to get the show off the ground, gave me the means to do Mank the way I wanted to do it, and they allowed me to venture down new paths with The Killer. It's a blessing to be able to work with people who are capable of boldness. The day our desires are not the same, we have to be honest about parting ways.”
Production on Mindhunter was hectic, with the crew practically living on-set (Pittsburgh, US), for almost three years — six to seven months at a time. Being the de facto showrunner of Mindhunter and the perfectionist that he is, Fincher also tossed the original script for Mindhunter season 2 and started over, thereby pushing the deadline even further. “It's a 90-hour workweek. 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 three',” he said in a 2020 interview. At the time, Netflix gave him the choice of completing Mank first and then deciding on continuing the arc. However, the filmmaker found it a difficult task from a budget standpoint, since Mindhunter had a niche following on the platform.
Based on the eponymous 1995 true-crime book, Mindhunter chronicled the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico, Virginia — charting the lives of agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), alongside psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), as they began a research project to interview and better understand the minds of serial killers. Much of the second season was focused on the Atlanta Child Murders of 1979–81, with the entire series featuring vignettes, teasing the appearance of Dennis Rader/ The BTK Killer. With Ford and Tench catching wind of his nefarious activities through cyphers, it was expected that Mindhunter season 3 would focus on this enigmatic character.
Back in 2020, Fincher signed a four-year deal with Netflix to produce exclusive content for the platform — officially extending the long-standing partnership he previously harboured. After Gone Girl, House of Cards was the next big project Fincher took up — serving as the director and executive producer on it, and making Netflix the first streaming series to rack up Primetime Emmy nominations. The filmmaker now prepares to show his next feature on November 10, The Killer, starring Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton as leads.
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