Netflix's new Mindhunter teaser sheds light on the show's dark and twisted humor. The series comes from Charlize Theron and David Fincher, both of whom have worked with Netflix before. Theron on the short-lived (and recently axed) Girlboss, and Fincher — who, for the uninitiated, is the the powerhouse director behind films like Fight Club, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl — on House of Cards, for which he produced and helmed multiple episodes.
Mindhunter is a different breed than both, parsing the minds of some of America's most infamous serial killers. Set in 1979, the 10-part detective drama stars Jonathan Groff (Looking) and Holt McCallany (Blue Bloods) as Holden Ford and Bill Tench, two FBI agents interviewing and analyzing imprisoned mass murderers in order to prevent future crimes. It's created by Joe Penhall (The Road) and based on Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas’ 1995 book, Mind Hunter: Inside FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.
The new teaser (which you can watch above) is brief but illuminating. As Groff's character, Holden, straps on a gun before heading to prison to interview an inmate, his partner warns they won't let him in with a side arm, but Holden insists he needs it "just in case." "The guy is 6-foot-9, weighs 300 pounds. So what's he gonna do?" he asks. Bill responds: "He's gonna take the f-cking thing away from you, he's going to kill you with it, and then he's going to have sex with your face." It's blunt and demented, but that's precisely the point; It fits the criminals.
The clip follows the full-length trailer, released earlier this month, which provided a broader look at Holden and Bill's groundbreaking efforts. Despite pushback from multiple departments, the pair fight hard to continue their quest to understand serial killers. "How do we get ahead of crazy, if we don't know how crazy thinks?" asks Bill.
It's unsurprising that the project is similar in tone to some of Fincher's previous efforts, including 2007’s serial killer-driven Zodiac, though other directors — Asif Kapadia (Amy), Tobias Lindholm (A War), Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror) — also stepped in to lead episodes throughout the show’s first season. It is however, a new format for him. Aside from House of Cards, Fincher has limited experience with television, and Mindhunter will mark the first time he's overseen a full series. It remains to be seen how that will change his storytelling, but from the looks of it, Mindhunter will be another compelling addition to Netflix's ever-expanding programming.
Mindhunter season 1 premieres on Netflix on October 13th.