Even in the middle of a major press tour for a blockbuster film like The Matrix Resurrections, Jonathan Groff can't help but be asked about the future of writer & executive producer David Fincher's Netflix series Mindhunter. When the series returned for its second season in August 2019, Groff's F.B.I. Agent Holden Ford and Holt McCallany's Agent Bill Tench tackled The Atlanta Child Murders, which resulted in the deaths of at least 28 African-American children, adolescents, and adults between 1979-1981. Since that time, fans have wondered not so much when a third season would happen but if there would ever be one. Netflix has been open to the idea of a third run and Fincher knows the direction the series would take, but it doesn't sound like it will be happening any time soon. Factoring in how busy schedules are and also the physical & mental commitment needed to commit to such an intense series, it's not surprising. And yet since no one has definitively given a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, the questions continue. During this go-around, Groff reveals how he felt when he learned Fincher would be taking an indefinite break from the series as well as if he & the cast would return if Fincher came calling.
On Fincher's Decision to Wrap "Mindhunter" (For Now?): "[Laughs] You know what? To me, 'Mindhunter' is Fincher. The whole experience for me was the honor and privilege of getting to work with him. This was the main draw for me. This was the main joy of getting to have that experience. So I'm not a sports person really at all, but it's like the [1997-1998] Chicago Bulls. Do you go for another season with the team? Or do you just do what the general manager says? But if the general manager believes that it should stop, you have to go with the general manager. And this is how I feel with David. The minute he says he wants to do another one, I'll be there in a second. But I trust his vision and his instincts, and so I leave it always in his hands, as ever."
On Returning to "Mindhunter" If Fincher Comes Calling: "There's such a reverence for Fincher. I can't imagine that every single person wouldn't jump at the opportunity to go back."
While the season finale left the door open for a third season, in January 2020 Netflix let the options on the series' cast lapse though the streamer wouldn't close the door entirely on a new season: "David [Fincher] 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," said a Netflix rep in a statement at the time. Since that time, even series cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt (who also worked on Mank) was in the dark about what the future held for the acclaimed series.
Fincher drove home the point later that year during an interview with Variety in support of Mank: if Mindhunter does come back, it won't be any time soon. "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," Fincher explained, adding that he also needed a break from the series. "I certainly needed some time away. We had all hands on deck to finish [season two] and we didn't have a ton of scripts and a ton of outlines and a bible standing by for season three. I'll admit I was a little bit like 'I don't know that I'm ready to spend another two years in the crawl space."
That said, Fincher knows the direction the series would go if he does revisit that universe- the narrative endgame that's been layered in over two seasons. "The hope was to get all the way up to the late '90s, early 2000s, hopefully, get all the way up to people knocking on the door at Dennis Rader's [BTK Killer] house," Fincher revealed. Between 1974 and 1991 and eventually, arrested in 2005, the BTK Killer would ill 10 people in Wichita and Park City, Kansas- taunting police by sending letters offering graphic, detailed descriptions of his crimes.