Ever since Mindhunter Season 2 ended, fans have wondered if a Season 3 will ever be released.
The critically acclaimed Netflix series from famed filmmaker David Fincher has garnered a bit of a cult following over the last few years.
The psychological thriller - based on the 1995 true-crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker - followed the exploits of the FBI's Behavioural Science Unit where government agents researched and studied the minds of America's great serial killers.
The first two seasons have been heralded as somewhat of a return to form for Fincher and an "ambitiously cinematic [series with] a meticulous attention to character development" (via Rotten Tomatoes), but will it ever return with new episodes?
Is Mindhunter Returning for Season 3?
As it stands Mindhunter Season 3 has no official release timing and has seemingly been put on hold at Netflix.
According to a November 2019 Hollywood Reporter profile of star Jonathan Groff, "Talk of a third season of Mindhunter [was] on hold" until series creator David Fincher finished work on his 2020 movie Mank:
"Talk of a third season of 'Mindhunter' is on hold while Fincher focuses on his next feature."
However, Mank came and went without any update on whether Fincher was back talking about more episodes with Netflix.
In January 2020, the streamer released the series' cast from their contracts as Fincher focused on his feature-length projects (the latest of which, The Killer, is set to debut on Netflix later this year).
At the time of the release, a Netflix spokesperson told TV Line, "[Fincher] may revisit Mindhunter again in the future," but in the meantime, the streaming giant did not think it was "fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work:"
"David is focused on directing his first Netflix film 'Mank' and on producing the second season of 'Love, Death and Robots.' He may revisit 'Mindhunter' again in the future, but in the meantime felt it wasn’t fair to the actors to hold them from seeking other work while he was exploring new work of his own."
Fincher has since confirmed the series is over for now, with the director remarking in a conversation with Forbes, "It's a very expensive show" and "in the eyes of Netflix, [it] didn't attract enough of an audience:"
"I'm very proud of the first two seasons. But it's a very expensive show and, in the eyes of Netflix, we didn't attract enough of an audience to justify such an investment. I don't blame them, they took risks to get the show off the ground, gave me the means to do 'Mank' the way I wanted to do it and they allowed me to venture down new paths with 'The Killer.' It's a blessing to be able to work with people who are capable of boldness. The day our desires are not the same, we have to be honest about parting ways."
At the time, he cited exhaustion as another reason he needed a break (per Variety):
“I don’t know if it makes sense to continue. It was an expensive show. It had a very passionate audience, but we never got the numbers that justified the cost. It was exhausting. Even when he wasn’t directing an episode, he was overseeing it. I certainly needed some time away."
Will Mindhunter Ever Come Back?
Right now, it seems unlikely that Mindhunter will ever return.
As Netflix moves away from expensive auteur-driven originals, opting for cheaper more mainstream content, Fincher's cult-hit crime drama just does not make sense. However, if circumstances were to change, there is always the chance the show would eventually return.
Fincher has made it clear that he is a little burnt out on the show, but he still has some ideas.
Star Holt McCallany told Screen Rant the renowned filmmaker told him he has ideas for "five seasons of these characters:"
"You know I’m in small, you know, supporting parts, peripheral parts. And so it was a big deal for me to be invited back by David in one of the leads. Because you know I believe in his talent, you know, and I know that you know, he wants to do five years of this show. Five seasons of these characters and so I’m hopeful, you know I don’t take anything for granted."
At the time of Netflix letting go of the Mindhunter cast, a spokesperson for the platform said to Vulture, that the series could return "maybe in five years:"
"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 — dollars have to equal eyeballs. Maybe in five years."
So even though a Mindhunter revival seems unlikely, even Netflix does not want to close the door completely.
Mindhunter Season 1 and 2 are available to stream now on Netflix.