In an alternate and better universe, David Fincher’s Mindhunter is merrily rolling along as it builds across the decades to reach the BTK Killer and provide a culmination of the FBI’s profiler division. Sadly, we live in this universe where Mindhunter only got two excellent seasons before the cast were released from their contracts.
Speaking to Vulture about his new movie Mank, Fincher confirms that we’ve likely seen the last of Mindhunter. He explains:
Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was an expensive show. We talked about “Finish Mank 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 two. And on some level, you have to be realistic about dollars have to equal eyeballs.
Netflix doesn’t have traditional ratings, but they do have viewers and subscriptions, and at the end of the day, Mindhunter, despite being one of the streamer’s best shows, never made the cultural impact of something like Stranger Things. The people who loved Mindhunter (myself included) were passionate about the show and what Fincher was doing with it, but it didn’t make much of a mark in terms of cultural conversation or racking up major Emmy wins like Netflix’s The Crown. At some point the critical acclaim needs to yield viewers, and that never really happened with Mindhunter.
While I’m disappointed that we’re done with Mindhunter, we still got two excellent seasons out of it, and now Fincher is almost back with his first feature since 2014’s Gone Girl. Fincher is also a director that’s not going to haggle over the price tag of his work, and if Netflix isn’t going to pay for what Fincher knows a third season would cost, there’s not much reason to continue. It’s probably better for everyone to move on to other projects.
Mank hits select theaters on November 13th before hitting Netflix on December 4th.