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You Can Stop Hoping for 'Mindhunter' Season Three Because David Fincher Says It Isn't Happening

"It's a particularly expensive show and, in the eyes of Netflix, we haven't attracted a large enough audience to justify such an investment."
By Sarah Ward
February 22, 2023
By Sarah Ward
February 22, 2023

When a TV show comes to an end, it isn't always the end. Plenty of beloved favourites have returned after they've said farewell, from Twin Peaks and Veronica Mars through to the about-to-drop Party Down revival. But one series that looks like it's staying gone is Mindhunter, the absolute best true-crime effort that Netflix has ever created — and one that's been missing from our screens since 2019.

In the platform's ongoing quest to keep our eyeballs glued to the small screen, it pumps out new original shows with frequency. There are now so many to choose from, you could easily watch nothing else. But, both as a true-crime series and a Netflix series in general, Mindhunter has always stood out from the crowd. Combine filmmaker David Fincher ( Gone Girl, Mank), non-fiction book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit and a whole heap of real-life serial killer cases, and you get the greatest show the streamer has ever made.

Naturally, after season one in 2017 and season two in 2019 — both of which were exceptional — viewers were keen for more of Mindhunter's look into the origins and operations of the FBI's Behavioural Science Unit. They're the folks who interview mass murderers to understand how they think, then use the learnings to help stop other killings, with the series drawing on its factual source material to dramatise the unit's beginnings. Alas, additional episodes haven't eventuated, with Netflix letting the cast's options expire in early 2020, and now David Fincher confirming that Mindhunter won't be getting a third season.

"I'm very proud of the first two seasons. But it's a particularly expensive show and, in the eyes of Netflix, we haven't attracted a large-enough audience to justify such an investment," Fincher said in a new interview with French publication Le Journal du Dimanche (as per a translation).

"I don't blame them, they took risks to launch the series, gave me the means to do as I dreamed Mank and they allowed me to venture on new paths with The Killer [Fincher's upcoming film, which'll hit the service before the year is out]."

Mindhunter really does boast the kind of concept that easily could span on forever. The show's main characters are fictional, such as agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff, Knock at the Cabin) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany, Nightmare Alley), plus psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv, The Last of Us), but the details they're delving into aren't. Also real: notorious figures such as Ed Kemper (Cameron Britton, A Man Called Otto), David Berkowitz (Oliver Cooper, The Goldbergs) and Charles Manson (Damon Herriman, Nude Tuesday), to name a few.

With a hefty lineup of killers and cases to cover — and still prove fascinating and gripping in this always-meticulously made show — season three wouldn't have lacked in inspiration. But hopes for a third season have long looked as paltry as Holden Ford's social etiquette, and just keep getting dimmer.

Fincher has still been rather busy making other things for Netflix of late. That includes producing Love, Death and Robots, then directing Mank and now The Killer — which stars Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Dark Phoenix) alongside Tilda Swinton (Three Thousand Years of Longing), and sees Fincher return to his fondness for crime (see also: SevenZodiac).

Check out the trailer for Mindhunter's second season below:

Mindhunter's first and second seasons are available to stream via Netflix.

Via Le Journal du Dimanche. Images: Merrick Morton/Netflix.

Published on February 22, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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