It’s the end of a long power struggle both on and off screen
When we last saw House of Cards’ Claire Underwood, she was gearing up to overthrow Frank, the disgraced President of the United States, and take her chances at running the country alone. Her very last words were: “My turn”.
These circumstances eerily mirror real life – Netflix cut ties with Kevin Spacey (Frank), the former protagonist of the show, after multiple accusations of sexual misconduct off the back of the viral #MeToo movement last year. He was replaced as the lead by his co-star Robin Wright.
In a statement at the time, the streaming network wrote: “Netflix will not be involved with any further production of ‘House of Cards’ that includes Kevin Spacey. We will continue to work with (Media Rights Capital) during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show.”
A brief trailer for the final season of the show debuted last night during the Oscars, with Claire (Wright) finally front and centre. The camera winds through the halls of the White House before ending up in the Oval Office where she sits in a chair, backwards, as people often do on television. After a classic slow swivel, she stands and says: “We’re just getting started”. The words “Hail to the Chief” then appear on screen.
The drama is particularly intensified by the actress’ very public battle for equal pay on the show. Having starred alongside Spacey since season one, Wright made headlines last year when she made the comment that she demanded to be paid the same as her co-star. At the time she told United Airlines in-flight magazine that she was negotiating behind the scenes.
“I was looking at the statistics and Claire Underwood's character was more popular than (Frank’s) for a period of time, so I capitalised on it. I was like, ‘You better pay me or I’m going to go public,’” Wright said. “And they did.”
House of Cards returns to Netflix this Autumn