Unlike Frank Underwood’s political cache, House of Cards has only depreciated over time. Once the jewel in Netflix’s $6 billion crown, the show lagged significantly in its third season, with critics calling it repetitive and diluted. Looks like creator Beau Willimon may have taken the criticism to heart (or perhaps agreed with it): According to The Hollywood Reporter, though House of Cards has been renewed for a fifth season (its fourth premieres in March), Willimon is leaving the series.
It’s unclear who’ll replace Willimon, a Juilliard grad whose distinctive voice and vision guided the series to nine Emmy wins and, at least for its first two seasons, masses of critical acclaim. Post-HOC, Willimon is apparently going on to pen an original play, which makes sense, considering he’s got a background in writing for the theater. But it’s similarly unclear why he left the series in the first place — his statement he gave regarding his departure was predictably vague.
“I’m grateful to Netflix and MRC, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I’ve had the privilege to work,” Willimon. “After five years and four seasons, it’s time for me to move on to new endeavors, but I’m supremely proud of what we’ve built together, wish the show much continued success, and leave it in the hands of a very capable team.”
Willimon gave a similarly opaque goodbye on Twitter:
House of Cards isn’t the first Netflix series to lose its showrunner, as Narcos and Lemony Snicket saw their creators run for the hills, as well. All three are shows about questionably insane men. Coincidence? Or House-of-Cards-esque conspiracy?
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)