Fans have been waiting anxiously for Netflix to announce that Mindhunter Season 3 is happening, but the waiting may continue for some time yet. Given that Netflix has been on a tear over the last year of either cancelling beloved series or announcing that an upcoming third or fourth season will be the last, you’d be forgiven for being fearful that Mindhunter is in danger of being cancelled. Despite a planned five-season arc, as the streaming world has become more competitive, Netflix has become a bit more bloodthirsty in axing shows that have gone on “too long.” Indeed, in terms of viewer metrics, Netflix heavily values the amount of people who finish a season, and as a show gets older, that number tends to go down. Hence why so many Netflix series run for only two or three seasons now, and why even something as beloved as Bojack Horseman isn’t immune to the chopping block.
But Mindhunter is a unique case largely because of David Fincher. The Gone Girl filmmaker created and is essentially the showrunner of the series, and while he directed the first two episodes of House of Cards (the show that put Netflix on the map as an original content generator), he didn’t take the helm of any future episodes of that series. In contrast, Fincher directed half of Mindhunter Season 1 and three of the nine episodes of Mindhunter Season 2, keeping a close eye on how everything was unfolding.
So it should maybe come as no surprise, then, that embedded in a profile of Mindhunter star Jonathan Groff, THR reports that talks for Mindhunter Season 3 are “on hold” until Fincher finishes his next movie. That movie is a black-and-white film he’s making for Netflix called Mank, about Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, and production is due to begin imminently (if it hasn’t already).
This information was backed up by Groff himself when Collider spoke with the terrific actor at the press day for Frozen 2. When we asked him when Mindhunter Season 3 starts filming, the actor said, “TBD,” but when we acknowledged that Fincher was currently busy making Mank, Groff replied, “Yeah, we couldn’t do it until after he was done with that.”
This implies that not only is there hope for Mindhunter Season 3, but presumably Fincher isn’t really interested in handing the show off to someone else while he makes his next film. He wants to be as involved with the third season as he was with the first two. That’s great news, as the quality bears out in those first two seasons, which showcase some of the best storytelling on TV right now.
Presumably Netflix hopes Mank is ready for an awards season release in 2020, which means the earliest Fincher would be free to tackle Mindhunter Season 3 would probably be early 2021, which means a debut date of 2022. That three-year gap isn’t out of the ordinary to Mindhunter fans who waited nearly two years for Season 2, although it should be said this is just me spitballing here. It’s possible Fincher finds a way to get Mindhunter Season 3 rolling early than that for a 2022 premiere date, and it should also be noted that Netflix hasn’t even officially renewed the series for a third season just yet.
That said, the bottom line here is that it very much sounds like Mindhunter Season 3 will happen, and it will happen with Fincher being very involved. That’s great news, even if it means a longer wait. I’d rather get a delayed Season 3 that’s up to the same quality as the first two seasons rather a much earlier Season 3 that falls short of expectations. And during that lag, we get a brand new David Fincher film as a bonus. I see this as an absolute win.