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? According to Deadline, 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.
Reasons Mindhunter Season 3 Isn't Happening
Talk suggests 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.”
Behind the scenes, the second season showrunner was fired and eight of the scripts were rewritten and even co-producer Peter Mavromates said of Fincher, “Even when he wasn't directing an episode, he was overseeing it.”
Now we all know that Fincher is not only a superb creator and director, but he also likes to micro-manage. And with so many projects on the go, it was only a matter of time before he needed a break.
He even said himself “I certainly needed some time away”. Speaking to Variety, he said: “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.”
While there doesn't appear to have been any meaningful communication between Netflix and Fincher about Mindhunter Season 3 since then, all is not lost.
Netflix hasn't actually canceled Mindhunter. It is simply on hiatus while Fincher pursues other projects. So there is still a small window of hope that our favourite FBI profilers will be back at some point. We just have no idea when that will be.
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 is in post-production but we may not see that until 2023. Starring Michael Fassbender, The Killer will be the second feature film in a 4-year exclusive deal between David Fincher and Netflix.