It’s not often that we as viewers and lovers of television get an inside scoop on what the future of a favorite show would have been — especially once it’s canceled. In the case of Netflix‘s Mindhunter, which released its second season back in 2019, the series technically wasn’t canceled so much as a possible third season was put on “indefinite hold” per David Fincher, though the series’ executive producer has also confirmed in interviews since that Season 3 likely isn’t happening, partly due to the fact that it would have required an even steeper budget than the previous one. Now, thanks to Season 2 director Andrew Dominik, we have even more of a sense of why Mindhunter‘s dead-in-the-water third season would’ve had a higher price tag.
In speaking with Collider‘s own Steve Weintraub in a long-spanning interview about his documentary about Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, This Much I Know to Be True, the director also briefly touched on not only his experience with directing two of Mindhunter‘s Season 2 episodes, but also what the third season would have entailed in terms of its main story — as well as which real-life figures the FBI Behavioral Science Unit team consisting of Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), and potentially even psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) would have crossed paths with. In Dominik‘s words:
“What they were going to do with Season 3 was they were going to go [to] Hollywood. So one of them was going to be hooking up with Jonathan Demme and the other one was going to be hooking up with Michael Mann. And it was all going to be about profiling making it into the sort of zeitgeist, the public consciousness. It would’ve been… That was the season everyone was really waiting for to do, with when they sort of get out of the basement and start.”
It’s hard not to mourn what could have been with Mindhunter, especially if it meant getting to see Holden and Bill uprooted from their basement office haunt at the FBI in favor of donning some shades and dealing with crimes in sunny California. Additionally, while criminal profiling was a relatively new strategy in terms of approaching various cases, and the novelty of it was something the first season of the Netflix series had explored, it makes sense that eventually, word of those investigative methods would spread — and also catch the attention of some of the decade’s most prominent filmmakers. Of course, that begs the question: would we have seen Holden and Bill rubbing elbows with any other celebrities over the course of Season 3?
As for his own experience working on the series, Dominik had nothing but praise to sing — especially in getting to direct Season 2’s pivotal Charles Manson episode, which starred Justified‘s Damon Herriman as the late cult leader (a role he would also play in Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiering within the same year). To hear Dominik tell it, apparently, all it took was a phone call to Fincher himself to become involved with the series:
“I probably got involved in it for the same reason that you liked it, right. I really loved it. And I knew David and I called him up, and he was like, “Do you want to do the Manson episode?” … I mean, how can you say no to the Charles Manson episode? … I got to work on that basically because I knew David, and it was a really good experience. It was very kind of collegial. Usually directing’s kind of a lonely job in a way because you’re the one always saying no, and you’re the one that’s in charge of everything. Everybody’s having to deal with you, and you have to stay responsible. You can’t sort of fuck around the way everybody else on a movie can. So it was really nice to do something with Fincher because it was like having a director pal, and he would shoot pieces of my episode, and I’d shoot little bits of his episode. It’s always really interesting to be inside somebody else’s process.”
Although the possibility of a Mindhunter Season 3 is likely buried at this point, Dominik hasn’t slowed down in the slightest since his time directing on the Netflix series. His documentary film This Much I Know to Be True is slated to debut in theaters as part of a global cinema event on May 11. For what Dominik said about his longer cut of his film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and his upcoming Marilyn Monroe Netflix biopic Blonde, hit the links.
Stay tuned to Collider for our full interview with Dominik coming soon.