Holding out hope for Mindhunter season 3? Think again.

By Nick Romano
October 23, 2020 at 01:36 PM EDT
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Credit: Patrick Harbron/Netflix

It looks like we're sending up Mindhunter as another casualty of 2020.

At the beginning of this year, series executive producer David Fincher was more uncertain about the future of his acclaimed crime series, though he left the door open to maybe someday "revisit." In a new interview, that hope feels dashed.

When asked by Vulture if he considered Mindhunter done, Fincher answered, "I think probably. Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about 'Finish Mank [Fincher's black-and-white drama for Netflix] 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." He means less in terms of production budget. "And on some level, you have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs."

A rep for Netflix did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment, though a spokesperson added to Fincher's comments in a statement to Vulture. "Maybe in five years," they said.

Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv starred in Mindhunter, about an F.B.I. task force dedicated to interviewing jailed serial killers to help get inside the heads of modern murderers. Season 2, which premiered in August 2019, almost two years after the season 1 launch, focused on the Atlanta Child Murders and saw Groff's Holden Ford interviewing Charles Manson.

"Mindhunter was a lot for me," Fincher said, noting how the crew "spent probably six or seven months a year over three years" filming the show in Pittsburgh.

"We had done the first season of Mindhunter without a showrunner, with me pinch-hitting on a week-by-week basis," he added. "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. I brought in Courtenay Miles, an AD [assistant director] I’d worked with who wanted to write, and she ended up co-showrunning Mindhunter. But 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.'"

Instead, he focused his attention on Mank, which stars Gary Oldman as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and Tom Burke as the film's director Orson Welles. In January, a spokesperson for Netflix told EW Fincher had allowed his Mindhunter cast to pursue other work.

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