Netflix had to confront what to do with its hit political drama House of Cards in October last year, after numerous allegations of sexual assault against star Kevin Spacey emerged.
A day after actor Anthony Rapp allegation against Spacey emerged, Netflix confirmed that the sixth season of the political drama – which had already begun filming – would be the last. Soon after, the streaming giants cut all ties with Spacey and confirmed that the final season would not feature his character Frank Underwood.
After an extended production delay and weeks of backroom discussions with producers and writers, it was announced in December that the show would resume production in 2018 with Robin Wright in the lead role.
But how will they write around the absence of Spacey’s Frank Underwood? And what direction will the series take in its final season? Find out everything we know so far about House of Cards season 6.
When is House of Cards season 6 released on Netflix?
While previous seasons of House of Cards have dropped in the spring (season five arrived on May 30th 2017), it looks likely that the release date for season six will be pushed back into summer or autumn.
How many episodes will there be?
Netflix has confirmed that the final season will only be eight episodes long – the shortest in its six-year run. The previous five seasons comprised of 13 episodes.
Who is in the cast of House of Cards’ final season?
The big casting news for season six is that veterans Greg Kinnear and Diane Lane have signed on to star in as-yet unknown roles – a major coup that will add some star power for its final run.
It has also been announced that Australian actor Cody Fern (American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace) will join the cast.
The trio will join returning actors Robin Wright (Claire Underwood), Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper), Jayne Atkinson (Catherine Durant) and Patricia Clarkson (Jane Davis), Constance Zimmer (Janine Skorsky), Derek Cecil (Seth Grayson), Campbell Scott (Mark Usher) and Boris McGiver (Tom Hammerschmidt).
Joel Kinnaman, who played Underwood’s political rival Will Conway, confirmed to RadioTimes.com that he will not be returning for the new season.
When is House of Cards season six filming?
Production resumed on the delayed series on 31st January 2018 in Baltimore, the main location for House of Cards filming. The series is set to continue filming until late spring.
Is there a trailer?
Nothing yet, but we’ll updated this page as soon as we have a first look.
What is going to happen?
*Spoilers for House of Cards season 5 to follow*
Rather fortuitously, Claire Underwood (Wright) had emerged as the show’s frontrunner in recent seasons – culminating with her rise to the presidency at the end of season five. This is perhaps the lifeline which has allowed the showrunners to continue the series without turning the plot on its head.
Back in June, long before the allegations against Spacey emerged, exec producers Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese confirmed that Claire’s presidency would form a major story arc for the new season. We imagine that nothing has changed there.
“I think it’s inevitable that that will need to be explored further [in season 6],” Gibson told TV Line.
“The question is going to be how,” added Pugliese. “I don’t think she’s going to do it the way Frank did it. How she does it could be really exciting.”
Of course, the situation has changed since then, with the writers having to undergo significant rewrites to oust Frank Underwood from the plot.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in December, Michael Dobbs, the author of the original House of Cards novels, said, “The poor [writers] have been sweating over their candles and pens.”
“It’s been really, truly difficult, but what Media Rights Capital, Netflix and the writers have done is superb,” he added. “They have set some standards and they have come back with some fine, fresh new creative stuff.”
As the series is currently filming, further details remain scarce.
House of Cards season 6 will arrive in 2018