Mindhunter season 3: David Fincher confirms the fate of the Netflix series

Is Mindhunter season 3 still happening at Netflix?

Anna Torv, Holt McCallany, and Jonathan Groff in Mindhunter poster

It’s been nearly four years since Mindhunter season 2 ended in August 2019, but many fans still hope the critically acclaimed crime series will return for a season 3 on Netflix. A couple of months after the season 2 finale, it was reported that plans for a third season were put on hold to let showrunner David Fincher work on other projects. Fincher has completed several projects since then, but he has yet to return to the world of Mindhunter, causing fans to wonder whether a third season of the show will ever happen. If you’re one of those fans, then this article will let you know the real status of the series and what happened to the program.

Was Mindhunter canceled?

Fincher planned to make five seasons of Mindhunter, but in November 2019, a potential third season was reported to have been put on indefinite hold until he finished working on his then-next film, Mank.

In January of the following year, Netflix announced that the cast of Mindhunter had been released from their contracts, confirming that the series was on indefinite hold as Fincher continued to work on other projects. “He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future,” a Netflix spokesperson said of Fincher at the time. “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.”

In October 2020, Fincher confirmed the series was done for now, and a rep for the streaming service said that a third season may be possible “maybe in five years”.

From 2019 to 2022, it appeared that Mindhunter was on an indefinite hiatus, but in February 2023, Fincher made it clear that the TV series is dead and not coming back.

David Fincher on the set of Mindhunter
David Fincher on the set of Mindhunter

Why was Mindhunter canceled?

While it looked like the cancellation of Mindhunter was mainly caused by Fincher’s decision to commit to other projects, a couple of interviews with the showrunner suggested that it was really Netflix who killed the series.

In an interview with the French outlet Le Journal du Dimanche in February 2023, Fincher confirmed that Mindhunter is over and explained why it was ultimately canceled.

“I’m very proud of the first two seasons,” Fincher said of the show. “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 [for season 3]. 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 [his next feature]. It’s a blessing to be able to work with people who are capable of boldness.”

This statement was similar to what Fincher said to Variety in November 2020, in which he admitted that he didn’t know if it makes sense for the Mindhunter to continue. “It was an expensive show. It had a very passionate audience, but we never got the numbers that justified the cost,” the showrunner said at the time.

In the same story by Variety, the news outlet mentioned how difficult it was for Fincher to produce the second season of the series. Fincher reportedly fired the initial showrunner and got the scripts for eight episodes rewritten, including the show bible, which outlined all the details of Mindhunter’s on-screen universe. He even ended up moving to Pittsburgh to oversee the production of the season.

“It was exhausting,” said Peter Mavromates, a co-producer on Mindhunter, of the season 2 work. “Even when he (Fincher) wasn’t directing an episode, he was overseeing it.” Fincher served as an executive producer on the series, alongside Beth Kono, Charlize Theron, Joe Penhall, Ceán Chaffin, Joshua Donen, and Courtenay Miles.

“I certainly needed some time away,” Fincher told Variety of why he needed to work on other projects after Mindhunter season 2. “We had all hands on deck to finish [season two] and we didn’t have a ton of scripts and a ton of outlines and a bible standing by for season three. I’ll admit I was a little bit like ‘I don’t know that I’m ready to spend another two years in the crawl space.'”

Holt McCallany as Bill Tench and Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford in Mindhunter
Holt McCallany as Bill Tench and Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford in Mindhunter

What is Mindhunter about?

Mindhunter is a psychological crime thriller television series created by Joe Penhall. The show is based on the true-crime book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. It debuted in October 2017 on Netflix and has gained significant popularity for its intense storytelling and exploration of criminal psychology.

The series is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s and follows FBI agents Holden Ford (played by Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (played by Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (played by Anna Torv). The agents are part of the Behavioral Science Unit within the FBI, and they pioneer the development of criminal profiling and behavioral analysis of serial killers and other violent criminals.

Anna Torv as Wendy Carr in Mindhunter
Anna Torv as Wendy Carr in Mindhunter

Mindhunter delves into the agents’ efforts to understand the minds of notorious serial killers by interviewing and studying them. The show portrays their interactions with real-life infamous criminals like Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos, and Richard Speck, among others. The agents’ work leads to the creation of criminal profiling techniques that help law enforcement agencies across the United States solve ongoing investigations.

The series is known for its psychological depth, meticulous attention to detail, and exploration of the dark and complex aspects of criminal behavior. It focuses not only on the criminals but also on the toll that investigating such cases takes on the agents themselves. The show explores themes of empathy, morality, and the fine line between understanding the minds of killers and becoming emotionally affected by their heinous acts.

Netflix - Mindhunter Season 1 Trailer

Is Mindhunter worth watching?

Mindhunter has received widespread acclaim from both audiences and critics alike for its unique approach to the crime thriller genre and its compelling exploration of criminal psychology. The show is well-regarded for its intense atmosphere, character development, and the way it delves into the minds of both the FBI agents and the serial killers they interview.

Here are some reasons why Mindhunter is considered worth watching:

  1. Realistic Portrayal: The series is based on real events and characters, adding authenticity to the story. It offers a deep dive into the early days of criminal profiling and the challenges faced by law enforcement in understanding and apprehending serial killers.
  2. Character Development: The show places a strong emphasis on character development, allowing viewers to connect with and understand the complexities of the main characters’ lives and relationships.
  3. Psychological Depth: Mindhunter delves into the psychological aspects of criminal behavior, exploring the motivations and thought processes of serial killers. This makes for a thought-provoking and intellectually engaging viewing experience.
  4. Tense Atmosphere: The show’s atmosphere is often tense and suspenseful, adding to its gripping nature. It keeps viewers engaged and on the edge of their seats.
  5. Strong Performances: The cast delivers compelling performances, with standout portrayals of both the FBI agents and the criminals they interview. Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv all give great performances. The chemistry between the main characters adds to the show’s appeal.
  6. Unique Perspective: Mindhunter offers a fresh and unique perspective on the crime thriller genre by focusing on the psychological and emotional aspects of criminal investigations rather than just the procedural aspects.

However, it’s important to note that Mindhunter is not for everyone. The show can be intense and graphic at times, as it deals with violent and disturbing subject matter. If you’re sensitive to such content, you might want to approach the show with caution.

Where to watch Mindhunter online?

The two seasons of Mindhunter are exclusively streaming on Netflix.

Sources: Le Journal du Dimanche, Variety
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