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‘Mindhunter’ Canceled? The Hit Crime Show May Be Meeting An Untimely End

Netflix's beloved crime series "Mindhunter" has been paused... for now, at least.

By Courtney Brogle
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It seems like the future of Netflix’s original crime thriller drama “Mindhunter” is in flux after it was revealed that the show’s cast has been released from their contracts.

“Mindhunter” is based on the experiences of former FBI profiler John Douglas, as explored in his true-crime book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.” Douglas is the inspiration for the fictional Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), as the show follows the creation of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, which profiles serial killers in order to understand how they think and plan crimes so they can solve other open cases.

However, just five months after season 2 debuted, it's been revealed Netflix let the options of the cast lapse in December, according to Deadline. However, Netflix did make it clear that the show is not exactly canceled, exactly. Although the cast has been released from their contracts and there are no immediate plans to continue the show for the next few years at least, a third season could still potentially be produced and released, the outlet reports.

The show’s “indefinite hold” is in part due to executive producer David Fincher’s commitment to several other Netflix projects. A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to The Wrap,, “David is focusing on directing his first Netflix film ‘Mank’ and on producing the second season of ‘Love, Death and Robots.’”

Though not included in the statement, Fincher is also reportedly working on a prequel series to the 1974 movie “Chinatown.”

“He may revisit ‘Mindhunter’ 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,” the Netflix representative added.

Season 1 was released in 2017 to much fanfare from true crime fans, as it featured notorious serial killers like Edmund Kemper and “BTK,” aka Dennis Rader. Season 2 focused on the Atlanta Child Murders, but also included interviews with criminals like Charles Manson and David Berkowitz.

Douglas explained to Oxygen.com in 2019 that the show did take some creative liberties in how his character would become involved in the cases, but that the interviews with persons of interest, as well as the personal health issues and anxiety he dealt with on the job, remained very accurate.

“The trouble in the FBI accepting us, you know, is very true,” Douglas said ahead of the season 2 release in 2019. “The police in the field at the time not accepting it, it’s true.”

For instance, in one interview in season 2, Ford gave Manson his sunglasses to barter for more information in subsequent interviews. Douglas explained that such an occurrence really did happen, as Manson wanted to get Douglas' Ray Ban sunglasses to maintain his credit among other prisoners.

Douglas recalled Manson saying that speaking to “the feds … leaks down through the correctional system,” and in order to not be perceived as a snitch, he wanted to appear as if he “ripped off” the men he was talking to.

“He was a charismatic individual. He wasn’t educationally smart, he was criminally smart,” Douglas said. “People just gravitate to him. He had these eyes, very hypnotic kind of eyes, and when he talks it’s almost very melodic when he speaks to you, in rhythm and repeating a mantra.”

While the future of the show is  unclear, Douglas continues to share his insights and experiences in the field with curious true crime audiences. In May 2019, he and Mark Olshaker released “The Killer Across the Table: Unlocking the Serial Killers and Predators with the FBI’s Original Mindhunter,” which detailed his experiences talking to four of the most complex predatory killers and his profiling techniques.