Mindhunter season 3 put on 'indefinite hold' as cast contracts expire

(Image credit: Courtesy of Netflix)

Mindhunter season 3 seems like it should be a dead cert, given the serial killer drama's widespread critical acclaim. But while the Netflix show hasn't been canceled, a new report from Deadline says the options on the cast expired in December 2019. Basically, this means that the cast is free to find other work, and are no longer contractually obliged to participate in a third season.

Netflix told Deadline that the reason for this is that director David Fincher, who's extremely hands-on with the show and directs multiple episodes per season, is focused on directing the movie Mank. That film is about the life of Herman J. Mankiewicz, the screenwriter of Citizen Kane. Fincher also has another season of Netflix series Love, Death and Robots on the way.

"He may revisit Mindhunter again in the future," a Netflix spokesperson told Deadline. "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." Deadline mentions that the cast is still enthusiastic about coming back for another season, but that Netflix and Fincher haven't had any "meaningful conversations" about a third year of the show. Mindhunter stars longtime Fincher collaborator Holt McCallany, as well as Jonathan Groff and Anna Torv. 

The long wait

There was an almost two-year gap between seasons one and two of Mindhunter. When you watch the show, you can see why it's not possible to rush it: it's meticulously shot, and you couldn't really tell it apart from Fincher's movies in terms of production values. It also requires a bit of effects work (see above). 

In this age of high demand for true crime-related content, it's hard to envision this series being too unpopular to justify a third run. Netflix doesn't release viewing figures, but in the US, at least, it was less popular in 2019 than The Witcher, Umbrella Academy and Stranger Things. Netflix keeping the door open for more Mindhunter seems like a positive sign, though.

The second season focused on the Atlanta child murders of the late '70s and early '80s. Mindhunter remains one of the best Netflix shows, so hopefully Fincher and the streaming service find a way to make it work down the line. 

We just might be waiting for a long time. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.