10 months ago
Production has been halted on the sixth and final season of Netflix’s House of Cards. It appears that the streaming service, along with producer Media Rights Capital, is taking the first steps toward firing actor Kevin Spacey and considering options for the future of the drama series. House of Cards put Netflix on the map regarding original programming, and there is no easy path forward, reports Variety.
Sources told Variety that producers are considering killing off Frank Underwood, the congressman turned president who Spacey has portrayed for six seasons, before letting Spacey go. Underwood is essential to the plot of the show, but Spacey’s dismissal is necessary to salvage the season, ever since a flood of sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey was revealed.
Spacey has since been dropped by his agency, CAA, and his publicist, Staci Wolfe. An investigation has been opened in response to an allegation that he sexually assaulted a male actor in London, Variety reports.
Brian Pacheco of Safe Horizon, an advocacy organization for victims of abuse and violent crime, said that “there are a lot of innocent people affected by what is alleged to have happened,” reports Variety, but he added that it doesn’t mean that House of Cards has to end, because the rest of the cast and crew — which is about 300 people — do not deserve for the show to be cancelled.
Continuing the show without Spacey is logically feasible but creatively hard. Many people would like Robin Wright, who plays the first lady Claire Underwood, to take over as the sole lead, but she herself has had problems with the show. Spacey was making $500,000 per episode for season 5, and though Wright thought she had gotten a raise to the same amount, she said in a later interview that she did not achieve parity with her co-star.
Another idea would be to fast-track one of several House of Cards spinoffs that are in early stages of development, Variety writes.