Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle Zack Snyder Defends 'Man Of Steel' Finale, Ben Affleck Reveals Bruce Wayne Knew People Who Died In That Battle New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ New Book Contends Eric Stoltz Was “Difficult” & The Cast Wasn’t Shocked He Was Replaced On ‘Back To The Future’ Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Watch: Scott Lang Wants To Call The Avengers In New International 'Ant-Man' Trailer Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' Zack Snyder Reveals The Easter Egg Idea He Pitched Christopher Nolan And David Goyer For 'Man Of Steel' New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Mads Mikkelsen And Hugh Dancy Released From Their 'Hannibal' Contracts Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Tom Cruise Still Gearing Up For 'Top Gun 2,' Story Will Involve Drone Warfare Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

Netflix Enters Original Content World By Backing David Fincher/Kevin Spacey Series 'House of Cards'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist March 16, 2011 at 12:58PM

The term 'game-changer' gets bandied around a lot, but rarely accurately. "The Matrix Revolutions," for instance, was billed as such. So was "Tron: Legacy," and neither seem to have changed any games, as such. "Avatar" has the most claim to the title, seeing as how it immediately encouraged every other film in town to go 3D, but it was also pretty much a once-in-a-generation phenomenon: "Mars Needs Moms" proved only this weekend that 3D and motion capture in no way ensures any kind of box office success.
3


The term 'game-changer' gets bandied around a lot, but rarely accurately. "The Matrix Revolutions," for instance, was billed as such. So was "Tron: Legacy," and neither seem to have changed any games, as such. "Avatar" has the most claim to the title, seeing as how it immediately encouraged every other film in town to go 3D, but it was also pretty much a once-in-a-generation phenomenon: "Mars Needs Moms" proved only this weekend that 3D and motion capture in no way ensures any kind of box office success.

The real revolutions come more gradually and quietly, and are less sexy than a $300 million dollar CGI-heavy action movie, but a story broke yesterday that does seem to be a true game-changer. We reported a couple weeks back that David Fincher and Kevin Spacey were teaming for a new TV series, "House of Cards," an adaptation of a popular British book and TV series from the 1990s, about the rise of a corrupt, Machiavellian, murderous politician. The series was being backed by Media Rights Capital, and networks, most likely cable channels, were all set to kick off a bidding war for the rights to air the show. A victor has emerged from the battle, and it's an entirely unexpected one.

Deadline reports that DVD rental/video streaming market leaders Netflix have won the rights to air "House of Cards," outbidding the likes of HBO and AMC in their first venture into the production of original content. Even more remarkably, the company beat off the competition by making an almost unheard-of commitment to two seasons of the show, or 26 episodes in total, meaning that the deal is worth somewhere in the region of $100 million.

Going straight to series is slightly more common on cable than on network TV -- shows such as "Rome," "The Walking Dead" and "Camelot" all bypassed the pilot stage -- but it's still rare, and committing upfront to two series has, as far as we can tell, never been done before. It's a major gamble for the company, but it's also achieved the desired effect of teaming with the people behind "The Social Network" -- announcing Netflix's entry into production with the biggest splash possible.

Rumors have been flying for some time that the company might follow the path of HBO (which was in existence for 15 years before it aired its first original series, "Oz," in 1997), and begin producing original content, although it was denied by Netflix themselves. But with the company's impressive market-lead being threatened by Amazon and Facebook, who are both dipping their toes into the video-streaming business, widely seen to be the future of home entertainment, a coup like this may well be worth the risk.

This was always going to happen at some stage -- the way that people consume entertainment has changed irrevocably in the last few years. The average age of a TV viewer in the U.S. is now well over 50 -- with audiences like yourselves increasingly watching TV series on demand, whether through iTunes, Netflix, Hulu or less legal outlets. But while there have been some modest successes in terms of online-only shows -- Joss Whedon's "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog" or Rob Corddry's "Children's Hospital" spring to mind -- nothing of this scale has ever been attempted, and it'll be fascinating to see how it turns out.

Of course, we're unlikely to see this for some time yet: Fincher's wrapped up in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" for the moment, while Spacey's touring the world on stage as Richard III for director Sam Mendes for basically the whole of the second half of 2011, so the earliest that the first season could shoot would be be early 2012, thus unlikely to hit Netflix for at least another year. Still, as an indicator of where the industry is heading in the next few years, it's a very good one.

This article is related to: Actors, TV Networks, Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates