David Fincher provided Netflix with a smash hit when he helped usher in House Of Cards back in 2013, and now he’s at it again.
The director has teamed up with Charlize Theron to bring a very different kind of show to the streaming service, Mindhunter, which will take us back in time to the 1970s, when FBI agent John E. Douglas was just starting to get a grip on the art of serial killer profiling.
Mindhunter was still filming over in Kittanning, Pennsylvania in January, and associate producer Bob Doyle saw fit to give the local paper an exclusive interview while the crew were in town. He explained the origins of the show for intrigued locals, and why the original book remains so vital.
“(Douglas), along with other agents, were essentially the people that put together the operational arm of the Behavioral Science Unit – the profilers,” Doyle said. “The story is about the formation of that unit. The book describes how they took what limited knowledge they had, how they added to that knowledge in order to be able to go to crime scenes and help figure out whom this person could be. They were remarkably successful.
“You’re not looking at fingerprints or other type of evidence so you know the person through old-school police work. What you’re looking at is what makes them tick, why they make those decisions, how they make those decisions, how did they get that way. Therefore, you have to get inside their head to where you become a criminal psychologist almost and not Sherlock Holmes looking for clues.”
Doyle said the aim of the show is to expect the unexpected. “It’s a psychological thriller/crime drama, and not one where you’re supposed to be able to solve it at the end of the hour before they do.”
We’ll bring you more as we have it.
Mindhunter air date
Netflix is keeping the premiere date for Mindhunter a secret at the moment, but we’ll keep you posted on any developments.
The source book for the show, Mind Hunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, follows the work of John E. Douglas, a special agent in the FBI, who dealt with some of the world’s most famous serial murderers. Douglas notoriously pursued some of America’s worst killers, developing a lot of the profiling techniques that are still used today. In fact, Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris’ The Silence Of The Lambs and Will Graham on Hannibal are both based on Douglas.
Mindhunter will be set in 1979, and revolve around two FBI agents who set about interviewing serial killers that have already been caught in an effort to get to the bottom of their current, unsolved cases.
Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany will headline the new show, with both playing special agents in the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit.
Groff is perhaps best known for his role as Jesse St. James in Glee and as the voice of Kristoff in Disney’s Frozen. McCallany, meanwhile, has been working consistently in the movies since the late 80s, starring in everything from Creepshow 2 to Monster Trucks. The actor has previously had smaller roles in a number of David Fincher’s films, including Alien 3 and Fight Club.
Australian actress Anna Torv has mostly retreated from American television after her turn on Fox’s sci-fi series Fringe ended in 2013 after five seasons, but after a few years of low-profile film roles, Torv will appear as a psychologist in Mindhunter called Wendy.
The show will be executive produced by David Fincher (Gone Girl, Fight Club) and actress Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Monster).
Fincher and Theron attempted to get Mindhunter going at HBO 6 years ago, but the project didn’t end up finding a home there for reasons unknown. Having had great success with Fincher’s previous show for them, House Of Cards, the streaming service Netflix has happily stepped in to take over the series’ production and dish out those much-needed funds.
British playwright and screenwriter Joe Penhall (The Road, Enduring Love) will be writing the show, with Fincher directing the first episode as he did with House Of Cards, and the showrunner will be Scott Buck, who is also running Marvel’s Iron Fist for Netflix.