Mindhunter has been a huge success for Netflix. The crime drama is directed by David Fincher and stars Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv.
Based on the true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, it may not be one of the biggest hits on Netflix but it has a solid worldwide fan base and those fans are not happy.
Back in November 2019, news broke that David Fincher decided to focus on directing his personal project, Mank. That is a Netflix movie about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and his battles with director Orson Welles over screenplay credit for Citizen Kane.
Because of that commitment, Mindhunter Season 3 was put on the back burner. Netflix even went so far as to let the cast options expire rather than keep them waiting indefinitely.
So have we seen the last of Mindhunter? At the time, Netflix execs released a statement saying: “David is focused on directing his first Netflix film Mank and on producing the second season of Love, Death and Robots.
“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.”
But that doesn't appear to be the whole story.
Mindhunter Season 3 Officially Cancelled
Talk suggested that Fincher was not particularly keen on another lengthy location shoot. He was also looking to raise the series’ production value with a bigger budget. And we all know that Netflix is a company run on numbers and analytics.
Money gets pumped into projects based on stats. The better the numbers, the more chance you have of getting the green light for another season. And while Mindhunter (review here) has a solid fanbase and a very high binge factor, it doesn't have the numbers of other shows like Sex Education, Elite, YOU or basically any Adam Sandler movie.
But surely it's not all about the numbers? Actually, it's not. There were plenty of production issues which all took their toll but first and foremost was the cost of making Mindhunter.
Fincher stated, “It had a very passionate audience, but we never got the numbers that justified the cost.”
And it would seem that Netflix agrees as they officially cancel Mindhunter after just two seasons.
Fincher, speaking to Collider, was very pragmatic about the situation stating:
“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.
“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.”
So that's it folks. Fans who were still holding out hope that Mindhunter Season 3 would eventually get made will be disappointed. That said, after such a long hiatus, the news may be unwelcome but it is certainly not surprising.
Other David Fincher Projects On Netflix
Fincher has since directed and released Mank to critical acclaim as well as a noir docuseries Voir.
One for the movie buffs out there, Voir follows film lovers who document the cinematic moments that thrilled, perplexed, challenged and forever changed them in this collection of visual essays.
He has also executively produced Love, Death + Robots, which has been renewed for a fourth season.
And last but not least is the crime drama, The Killer, which will drop on Netflix on November 10th 2023.
Starring Michael Fassbender, The Killer will be the second feature film in a 4-year exclusive deal between David Fincher and Netflix.
The plot centres around an assassin who begins to psychologically crack as he develops a conscience.