Little by little, Netflix has realized that the “give someone smart a bunch of money and let them do their thing” business model works pretty damn well. Creator-driven projects like Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang’s Master of None, the Wachowski siblings’ sci-fi/action saga Sense8 and the unlikely Mr. Show revival W/ Bob and David all thrived by placing trust in the minds to express their vision most fully. Sometimes, this method takes on a sort of second degree wherein Netflix will entrust an executive producer with all the money, and then it’s or her job to find someone worthy of a full-on Internet TV show. That’s what happened with Netflix’s inaugural smash House of Cards, which tapped David Fincher as the executive producer, who in turn tapped Beau Willimon as series creator.
So, the newly announced Netflix series Mindhunter both is and is not a new project from David Fincher. The celebrated filmmaker will most likely direct some of these episodes, and the serial-killer subject matter would be right at home in his oeuvre, but the show is more like the handiwork of a guy who has David Fincher’s seal of approval. In this instance, that guy happens to be British playwright Joe Penhall, who will claim creator credit on the upcoming series. Curiously enough, Charlize Theron will share executive producer duties with Fincher, though it has yet to be revealed whether Theron will appear on the other side of the camera as well.
Finally completing a journey that began in 2009 and ensnared multiple various networks and various writers, Mindhunter will adapt FBI agent Mark Douglas’ book recounting his pursuit of various serial killers, a text that was also the inspiration for characters like Jack Crawford of the Hannibal universe and Criminal Minds‘ Jason Gideon. Gee, David Fincher and a property about obsessive pursuits and serial killing? This thing might have legs!