David Fincher’s much anticipated foray into television with the political thriller House of Cards is set to make a big splash on Netflix this week. The streaming service is making a bold foray into original programming, stating that weekly appointment viewing is dead with their plan to dump all 13 episodes of the first season at once on February 1. Of course, you’ll need a Netflix subscriptoin — and therefore need to live in a country where their service is available — to watch them (legally, at least). Based on the novel by Michael Dobbs — which was previously adapted by the BBC — the show stars Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, a Machiavellian majority whip of the House of Representatives on a ruthless quest for power. Robin Wright co-stars as his ambitious wife Claire, with Kate Mara (elder sister of Fincher’s recent muse Rooney) as an aspiring journalist, and Michael Kelly (Chronicle), Kristen Connolly (The Cabin in the Woods), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Mahershali Ali (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) rounding out the supporting cast. Throw in screenwriter Beau Willimon (The Ides of March) and a directorial roster that includes Fincher, James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross), Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress) and Joel Schumacher (Tigerland), and that’s one hell of a talented collective. The show should easily sell itself, but Netflix seem to be shooting themselves in the foot with the marketing so far. Aside from one great trailer and poster back in November (see below), the promo has been curiously quiet, with a bunch of new trailers frustratingly made exclusive to their service this month. One of these new trailers has finally made its way online this week to little fanfare, but it once again reminds us of how very promising House of Cards looks, not to mention how much I’ve missed seeing this side of the once-brilliant Spacey. Removing the weekly social network/blog conversations from the viewing experience is a risky move — essentially making this a 13-hour movie that audiences can digest at their own pace — and I’m intrigued to see whether or not this release strategy pays off, especially considering that Netflix plan to use the same method for the long-awaited return of Arrested Development later this year.
House of Cards lands February 1 (US) on Netflix. Watch the new trailer below.
Check out the first trailer and two posters for House of Cards below.