Mindhunter will be based on the 1996 book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by former special agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. Douglas, a retired FBI agent who was instrumental in the development of the criminal profiling discipline, is a partial inspiration for the fictional characters of Will Graham on Hannibal and Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds.
Netflix and Fincher have a proven track record together, as he is an executive producer for House of Cards and won an Emmy for directing that show's pilot. Fincher is expected to direct at least some of Mindhunter, which will return him to the "pursuit-of-a-serial-killer" genre of his films Se7en and Zodiac.
Theron will executive-produce through her company Denver and Delilah. Fincher has recruited playwright Joe Penhall to write.