I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that according to producer Charlize Theron, Mindhunter is coming back in August. The bad news is that the last time I checked, August is three months from now. I know. It’s not fair. Address all letters, er, tweets, to @Netflix.
Speaking of addresses, let’s address the headline. No, Mindhunter and Manhunt are not rivals just because they share a similar title and disturbing subject matter. Technically, Mindhunter can’t even have a rival because it’s a Netflix series, so it has no time slot. But let’s be honest, it’s the only live-action show that boasts the involvement of David Fincher, so it would be unrivaled anyway. Having said that, Manhunt is a true crime series that succeeds on its own merits, and its first season, featuring Paul Bettany as the Unabomber, had me riveted from start to finish. And now they have something in common, or rather, someone — actor Cameron Britton.
Britton was the clear breakout of Manhunter‘s acclaimed first season, in which he played the soft-spoken serial killer Edmund Kemper. Britton was so impressive as the not-so-gentle giant that he earned an Emmy nomination. As of this writing, Kemper’s return in season two has not been confirmed, but I’d put good money on an appearance somewhere along the way. Then again, retired FBI profiler John E. Douglas recently indicated that Fincher has a five-season arc in mind for the show, so it’s possible that ‘Big Ed’ may not come back until further down the line.
Either way, Britton has found his next gig, and it’s a juicy one. As first reported by Deadline, he’s set to play the infamous Richard Jewell in Manhunt: Lone Wolf, which will explore the Atlanta Olympics Bombing. Jewell was the security guard who discovered the bomb at Centennial Olympic Park and risked his life to save hundreds of people before being falsely accused of planting the bomb himself. Co-starring opposite Britton will be Jack Huston, who has signed on to play Eric Rudolph, the actual mastermind behind the bombing.
Of course, a series called Manhunt has to follow, well, a manhunt, and fear not, for a manhunt there shall be! After setting off a series of bombs, Rudolph disappeared into the wilderness, where he evaded authorities for years thanks to his ability to charm and manipulate people. It sounds like a hell of a role for Huston, who frankly, could use it. His last few films have fizzled at the box office, though he does have a role in Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman, which could be the kind of work that gets his career back on track. I’m also encouraged by his casting in Lionsgate’s racially-charged thriller starring Janelle Monae, and look forward to the upcoming Netflix film Earthquake Bird, in which he stars opposite Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough.
As for what all this means for 20th Century Fox’s The Ballad of Richard Jewell movie, which had engaged none other than Clint Eastwood to direct, I have no idea. It doesn’t seem like it bode well for a potential movie, but then again, how many people are actually watching a Spectrum series starring Jack Huston? Plus, if there’s anyone in Hollywood who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what anyone else is working on, it’s Eastwood — and he works fast, so the Manhunt brain trust had better hurry up!
Speaking of that brain trust, the Manhunt: Unabomber team of executive producer John Goldwyn and writer/EP Andrew Sodroski are both back for the second installment of the anthology series. They’ll be joined by new EP Michael Dinner, a TV veteran whose credits include Sneaky Pete, Justified, Chicago Hope and one of my personal favorites, The Wonder Years. Manhunt hails from Lionsgate Television, which made a deal last year with Spectrum parent Charter Communications for new seasons of the true crime show. The first season aired on Discovery Channel and is now available on Netflix. I don’t have Spectrum, so here’s hoping their PR team reaches out to me.
As for Mindhunter, the show was renewed for a second season in November 2017, and in a recent interview with Vulture, Douglas confirmed reports that this season will introduce Charles Manson, David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz and the Atlanta child killings of the early 1980s. For all its frank talk about murder and dismemberment, there’s actually very little gore or in Mindhunter, which is more concerned with psychological confrontations than physical ones. While we don’t have a firm release date yet, Netflix typically releases new shows on Fridays at 12am. As our bad luck would have at, there are five Fridays in August this year, though let’s be serious — Hollywood loathes Labor Day weekend, and besides, most people are soaking all the sun they can get before the summer officially ends. Which is why I think you’re looking at a release date of either August 16th or 23rd. Why not earlier that month, you ask?
Well, August 8-9 is considered the date of Charles Manson’s Tate killings, named so after slain starlet Sharon Tate. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that heinous crime. Some opportunists would take advantage of something like that, but with Quentin Tarantino deliberately moving up the release of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood to late July in order to avoid coinciding with the Tate killings, I see no reason why Netflix would antagonize the families of the victims and release a new series featuring Manson on that date. And if you release the second season the week before, on Aug. 2, it just means that people will be able to watch those Mindhunter episodes on the anniversary, since they all release at once. Outside of my scoop about Manson’s casting, I don’t have any inside information regarding Mindhunter or the release of its second season, so all this is pure, if informed, speculation.
Here’s hoping Britton returns as Kemper, who in just a handful of appearances, made his presence felt. He may not be integral to the show, but he makes for a great Lecter to Jonathan Groff‘s Starling-esque Agent Ford. You can also catch Britton on the hit Netflix series The Umbrella Academy. He’s represented by UTA, Velocity Entertainment Partners and Jackoway Tyerman.
Huston, who can currently be seen in Matthew Weiner’s Amazon series The Romanoffs, is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.
Watch Theron let the cat out of the bag — an appropriate phrase when writing about a serial killer show — on SiriusXM’s Howard Stern Show below. And check out her new rom-com Long Shot, which deserved a much better opening last weekend. Damn, Avengers…
— Mindhunter News (@MindhunterNews) April 30, 2019