Netflix, the TV and film online streaming service, has released the first trailer for its David Fincher-helmed remake of the classic British TV series, House of Cards.
Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey takes the lead role of Congressman Francis Underwood, who plots with his wife (Robin Wright) to bring down the President of the United States (Michel Gill) after he is denied his promised role as Secretary of State.
As in the UK original, Underwood forms an alliance with a young female reporter (Kate Mara) and regularly delivers arch asides direct to camera.
In fact, at times in the trailer Spacey seems almost to be channelling the late Ian Richardson, who won a Bafta for the 1990 BBC series written by Andrew Davies, based on the book by Michael Dobbs. In the original, Richardson was Conservative Chief Whip Francis Urquhart, who plans to become Prime Minister in the years following Margaret Thatcher’s resignation.
The new American version is the second original series, after the Steven Van Zandt vehicle Lilyhammer, to be produced by Netflix, which dominates the streaming/rental-by-mail sector in the US and has recently launched in the UK.
All 13 episodes, the first two of which have been directed by David Fincher (Fight Club, The Social Network), will become available to Netflix subscribers on 1 February across all the site’s territories: North America, the UK, Ireland, Latin America and Scandinavia.
The series was developed by Spacey, Fincher and scriptwriter Beau Willimon and is reported to have had a budget of around $100m.
A second season is scheduled to begin production in spring 2013.