“In politics there's ambition, desire, lust, betrayal -- all the same kinds of things we exhibit and experience in our own everyday lives,” says Beau Willimon, showrunner for the drama's first 13-episode season, and someone intent on exploring all those facets in the show's ruthless main character, U.S. Congressman Francis Underwood (Spacey). Failed in his bid to become secretary of state, the focus then turns -- via direct addresses to camera and audience - to his plans for an even bigger target: the Presidency itself.
'Cards' is an adaptation of the 1990 BBC miniseries set in Parliament, and besides Spacey, Robin Wright, and Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) in the cast, the show has also attracted quite a stellar lineup behind the camera. Fincher was turned on to the project just following 'Benjamin Button,' and brought both that film's screenwriter, Eric Roth, and Willimon, who'd written the political play “Farragut North," which was later turned into the George Clooney-directed “Ides of March.”
With Fincher directing the first episode, and with Willimon bringing his deft, suspenseful touch from 'Ides' to the small screen -- one that he approached with his writing staff “creatively as a 13-hour movie” -- the odds are in favor of “House of Cards" being a compelling, addictive dose of political intrigue overall.