Netflix announced Monday it will resume production next year on “House of Cards” without its disgraced star, Kevin Spacey.
Trade publications reported that Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, delivering a keynote address at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in Manhattan, told the audience, “We were really excited we could get to an agreement” with the show’s production company, Media Rights Capital (MRC), and “bring closure to fans.”
While confirming Robin Wright will continue to star in the acclaimed political drama as Claire Underwood — wife of recently resigned President Francis Underwood (Spacey) and now the first female president of the United States — Sarandos gave no details regarding how Francis’ absence would be explained.
The season, Sarandos announced, will run eight episodes, five fewer than each previous season. The Hollywood Reporter said season 6 originally was scheduled to be 13 episodes, and that production had been completed on the first two before the hiatus. Sarandos did not discuss which Spacey footage those episodes may have contained or what would become of such footage.
Spacey apologized after “Star Trek: Discovery” star Anthony Rapp in October accused Tony- and two-time Academy Award-winner Spacey of having made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey, 26. “I’m beyond horrified to hear his story,” Spacey said in part. “I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology . . . ” Spacey additionally used the opportunity to come out publicly as gay.
Two days later, Netflix and MRC jointly announced they were suspending production on “House of Cards” season 6 “to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew.” The initial hiatus was later extended by two weeks to Dec. 8, before Monday’s announcement.
MRC suspended Spacey on Nov. 3 for what the production company called “serious allegations concerning . . . [his] behavior on the set.” Netflix the same day said in a statement it “will not be involved with any further production of ‘House of Cards’ that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.”