Ever since the second season of Netflix’s period FBI-agents-and-serial-killers drama Mindhunter was released 14 months ago, fans have been wondering about the possibility of one more round. Hopes flagged when the show’s leads, Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, and Anna Torv, were released from their contracts in January and the show was put on “indefinite hold.” Now, David Fincher, Mindhunter’s executive producer, most frequent director, and de facto showrunner, has seemed to confirmed that the Pittsburgh-shot series is indeed two-and-done. “We lived there for almost three years,” he said during an interview about his new film Mank. “Not year in and year out, but … probably six or seven months a year … Mindhunter was a lot for me.”
Fincher says that at the start of the second season, he “ended up looking at what was written and deciding I didn’t like any of it, so we tossed it and started over.” He promoted Courtenay Miles, who had been working on the series as an assistant director, to co-showrun; still, he said, “It’s a 90-hour workweek. It absorbs everything in your life. When I got done, I was pretty exhausted, and I said, ‘I don’t know if I have it in me right now to break season three.’” Netflix didn’t argue; CEO Ted Sarandos and Cindy Holland, at the time the company’s VP for original content, just asked Fincher if there was something else he wanted to work on (thus Mank).
“Listen, for the viewership that it had, it was a very expensive show,” Fincher said. “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.” Apparently, that math does not work in Mindhunter’s favor, although Netflix is willing to keep the door a tiny crack open. Confirming that a third season was not in the offing, a spokesperson added, “Maybe in five years.”