HOUSE OF CARDS Is ‘Nastier’ Than THE WEST WING, Says Beau Willimon


Beau Willimon (Ides of March) discusses the first two seasons of the Netflix original serial, House Of Cards.

With Netflix pre-ordering the first two seasons of HoC, writer/executive producer Willimon says it gives the creative team freedom to delve into characters and make the story more connected:

“The most important thing I think is that we have two seasons guaranteed, that’s 26 hours of television. We have thirteen hours in the first season and if you think about just the map of it, that’s the equivalent of six and a half movies. So you have the opportunity to delve into characters and stories that — not only in terms of just pure depth but also sophistication and complexity — you can never achieve in any film or play because there’s only so much you can do in two hours. And that’s unlike anything else out there.

[One] of the great advantages that we have with this particular show is we being the writing process early so we have all of the scripts for the first season finished in one form or another. There’s re-writing or stuff to do but before we shot a single frame we know where the entire season is headed and all the actors know where the characters are headed….And to be able to have all of the text, six hundred plus stages of it on the table in one form or another before we even start shooting just means that we can have a complete vision for the first season and we’re not just playing catch up or trying to meet deadlines and letting things drop. It should feel very tight and cohesive and connected.”

On the tone and how it differs from Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing:

“It’s very much about people doing bad things. At the center of it is Kevin Spacey playing a Richard the Third type of Machiavellian character with a deep thirst for power. And is not willing to stop until he achieves it in every way imaginable. So it’s definitely looking at the political process in Washington through a very dark lens. It’s not ‘The West Wing.’ I’m a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin’s and I thought that was a brilliant show, but it was also a fantasy…it made politics look clean and noble and in many cases it can be. This is really a 180 degree departure from that. It gets deliciously dark and nasty.’

Source: The Playlist

House of Cards is scheduled to begin production on the first 13 episodes in spring 2012 for a 2013 launch

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