The rumors are true, instead of simply offering old content from others, Netflix is jumping back into the content business by licensing David Fincher's upcoming drama House of Cards for Watch Instantly streaming in the US and Canada before it airs anywhere else, or has even been produced. In a blog post and interview with AllThingsD, Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos justifies signing up for the series sight unseen by pointing out the popularity of the earlier BBC miniseries on which it is based among Netflix members and the collective skills of both the director and lead actor Kevin Spacey. However, if you're waiting around for fresh content to pop up on Watch Instantly don't hold your breath, the 26 episode run produced by (interestingly, Netflix will neither produce nor own the show) Media Rights Capital isn't due to arrive until late 2012.
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David Fincher's "House of Cards" Starring Kevin Spacey to Be Streamed Instantly in North America Exclusively from Netflix
New television series from Media Rights Capital brings
the highly anticipated adaptation of the award-winning BBC political thriller
to Netflix members in late 2012
Beverly Hills, CA (March 18, 2011) – "House of Cards," the much-anticipated television series and political thriller from Executive Producer David Fincher and starring two time Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, will debut exclusively in the United States and Canada from Netflix, the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows.
Netflix has committed to a minimum of 26 episodes of the Media Rights Capital drama, which is expected to be available to the more than 20 million Netflix members, beginning in late 2012. Fincher, the Oscar-nominated director of The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, will direct the pilot written by Beau Willimon (Farragut North and film adaptation, The Ides of March). A satirical tale of power, corruption and lies, "House of Cards" is based on the book and acclaimed BBC mini-series of the same name.
"The gripping, serialized one hour drama has become a very important part of the Netflix experience," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. "David Fincher's unique vision, the indelible performances of Kevin Spacey and the original version of "House of Cards," all have a big following among our members, giving the series a very good chance of becoming a fan favorite. We are thrilled to be working with this amazing team."
Originally written as a novel by former U.K. Conservative Party Chief of Staff Michael Dobbs, "House of Cards" explores the ruthless underside of British politics at the end of the Thatcher era. Reset against the backdrop of modern-day U.S. electoral politics, the new one-hour drama follows an ambitious politician (Spacey) with his eye on the top job.
Scripts for 13 episodes will be delivered before production on the "House of Cards" pilot begins in the spring of 2012. Production on subsequent episodes of "House of Cards" will commence several months later, allowing producers time to carefully develop the series.
Media Rights Capital's "House of Cards" stars Kevin Spacey (Casino Jack, American Beauty, Seven) and was developed by Beau Willimon (The Ides of March). David Fincher (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seven), Josh Donen (Spartacus: Blood and Sand), Academy Award-winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), along with Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti of Trigger Street Productions (The Social Network, 21) are Executive Producers for the series. Emmy Award-winner Andrew Davies and Michael Dobbs, who produced the original BBC series, also serve as Executive Producers, with Willimon as Co-Executive Producer. The "House of Cards" pilot is written by Willimon and will be directed by Fincher.
About Netflix: With more than 20 million members in the United States and Canada, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For $7.99 a month, Netflix members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, Internet-connected TVs, home theater systems, digital video recorders and Internet video players; Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 200 devices that stream from Netflix are available in the U.S. and a growing number are available in Canada.
About Media Rights Capital: MRC is a leading independent film, television and digital studio. MRC film projects include The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by George Nolfi and starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt; Ben Stiller and Red Hour's 30 Minutes or Less directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride and Aziz Ansari; TED, starring and directed by Seth MacFarlane in his feature film debut, also starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis; Elysium, the first of two new projects to be helmed by District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp starring Jodie Foster and Matt Damon; and "Panic Pictures", a production and financing company in partnership with David Fincher. Television ventures include the political drama "House of Cards" which will premiere on Netflix and star Kevin Spacey, from Executive Producers David Fincher, Andrew Davies, Michael Dobbs, Josh Donen Eric Roth and Dana Brunetti; "iCON," a Silicon Valley satire created by Larry Charles and "Fake Steve Jobs," Dan Lyons, which will debut on EPIX; and two seasons of "The Ricky Gervais Show," the animated adaptation of the UK podcast starring Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, and three seasons of the late-night animated comedy "The Life and Times of Tim", created by and starring Steve Dildarian, both airing on HBO.