House Of Cards getting huge change for season five

Netflix gives Frank Underwood a fifth term – but there's one major shake-up.

Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in House Of Cards
Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood on House of Cards Image Picture Netflix

Netflix has given the green light to a fifth season of House Of Cards – but with one major shake-up on the show.

Ahead of season four’s debut on March 4, the streaming giant has revealed that showrunner Beau Willimon will no longer be calling the shots for Frank Underwood.

A joint statement from Netflix and production company MRC said the firms: “owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Beau Willimon for his strong narrative vision for House of Cards over the show’s first four seasons”.

“As an Academy Award nominated writer, he made his first foray into television and built a riveting and critically acclaimed series, establishing his place in TV history,” the statement continued. “The producers, cast and crew join us in wishing Beau the best in his next creative adventure.”

Willimon thanked Netflix in his parting comments, but gave no indication about what he’ll be up to next.

Beau Willimon House Of Cards
Bye bye, Beau Willimon won an Oscar nomination in 2012 for his Ides Of March screenplay. Image Picture Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Pre-House Of Cards, Willimon worked on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign. He channeled his experiences into writing the play Farragut North, which he then adapted as the George Clooney thriller The Ides Of March.

In 2013, HBO and Willimon revealed they were teaming up to make a miniseries about Jack Johnson, the first African-American world heavyweight champion boxer. However, there’s been scant detail on the project since the initial announcement.

Whatever Willimon wants to do next, thanks to House Of Cards he’s not going to be short of offers.

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Loaded digital media manager Simon Reynolds has written about film and entertainment for various leading websites since 2008. Follow Simon at @simonreyn

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