David Fincher and Netflix first teamed up in 2013 for the dark political drama House of Cards, the series that was largely responsible for putting Netflix on the map as creators of original content. House of Cards is still going strong into its fifth season and now has 33 Emmy nominations under its belt altogether. Since that first success, Netflix has dramatically expanded its stable of original series and is now regarded as a more-than-legitimate competitor to broadcast and cable networks.
Given the success of House of Cards, it seems only natural that Fincher and Netflix would seek to team up again. In 2017, the pairing will deliver Mindhunter, a 10-episode series based on the experiences of the real-life FBI agent who inspired the character of Jack Crawford from Silence of the Lambs.
The first teaser for Mindhunter has arrived and it promises exactly what you would expect from the man who directed Seven, Zodiac and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The teaser gives us quick glimpses of the lead actors, Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany and Anna Torv (replacing original star Charlize Theron), while dialogue snippets set up the series' story about an elite FBI unit tracking down serial killers and rapists. The brooding images from the show are intercut with shots of blood slowly soaking into a white medium, to create a Rorschach test with what looks like a screaming face in the center.
The storyline of Mindhunter is a fictionalized account of the activities of John E. Douglas, the man who wrote the non-fiction book upon which the show is based. Douglas was one of the original FBI profilers and over the years he was given the chance to interview many notorious serial killers, including Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Dennis Rader. Douglas himself wrote four episodes of Mindhunter, so the details should be very accurate and exacting.
David Fincher has covered this sort of territory before, most notably in his acclaimed film Zodiac, a detailed account of efforts to uncover the identity of the notorious Zodiac killer. To say Mindhunter feels like it's right in Fincher's wheelhouse would be understating things. Fincher's brooding, methodical directorial touch on several early episodes of House of Cards set the tone for that whole series, and he once again has taken the director's chair for a few eps of Mindhunter, so that Fincher stamp will be all over this series as well.
If there's anything to be concerned about with Mindhunter, it's that the material might seem somewhat overly familiar after so many cinematic and television depictions of FBI profilers and their activities. Fictionalizing the Mindhunter book is a little like digging back down to the source material, but it remains to be seen if the show can mine anything new and original from that particular vein. If it can, Netflix may have another hit on its hands to rival House of Cards. The show debuts in October 2017.
Source: Netflix US & Canada