House of Cards desperately trying to re-write show without Kevin Spacey

Ben Arnold
UK Movies Writer
(Credit: Netflix)

Following the multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment facing Kevin Spacey, the showrunners behind Netflix hit ‘House of Cards’ are desperately trying to re-work the series without Spacey’s character.

Netflix announced that he was being dropped from the political drama, after filming on the show’s sixth season was suspended earlier this month.

It also set up confidential channels for staff to discuss any instances of harassment involving Spacey, some saying that his behaviour was an open secret on set.

But according to CNN Money, rather than axe the show completely, it’s instead ‘racing against the clock’ to re-write it.

Sources said that it is ‘unlikely to be cancelled’, and it may even take the lead from the original British show, from which the US version diverged some time ago.

In the original series, Francis Urquhart, the scheming chief whip played by Ian Richardson, was shot and killed.

Though whether it’s possible to kill off Spacey’s Frank Underwood without shooting additional scenes with the actor is unknown.

(AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm)

The decision will be up to Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, who took over the show after writer Beau Willimon left at the end of season four.

This sixth and final series is due to wrap in May, though it’s not yet known whether this date will now move due to the upheaval.

Media Rights Capital, which produces the series alongside Netflix, suspended filming on the show’s Baltimore set after eight current and past staff members came forward with testimonies about the actor’s behaviour.

One accused him of trying to touch his groin during a car journey to the set, while others spoke of a ‘toxic environment for young men’ on the show’s set.

Willimon, meanwhile, has been accused of knowing about Spacey’s behaviour all along, despite saying that he ‘neither witnessed nor was aware of any inappropriate behavior on set or off’.

One crew-member told Buzzfeed: “They had production meetings about Spacey’s flirtatious behavior toward crew and cast, and it never made it any further than that. It was like a joke.”

Of the denial, another staff-member added: “Bulls**t. Utter bulls**t. 100%.”

According to CNN, staff currently on the show, of which there are more than 2000, taking in crew and extras, will know the fate of the show by Thanksgiving on November 23.

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