While Fincher has been busy tackling tech visionaries and bizarre Swedish romances of late, the director has not forgotten about his venture into television, House of Cards, which was announced in 2009 and now marches through pre-production, flush with Netflix money.
The series is based off the original Iron Lady-era political thriller and will star Kevin Spacey amidst modern American politics, along with Robin Wright. It’s a new venture from Netflix that will have them exclusively airing the high-dollar drama that Fincher will executive produce. Fincher will also direct the first episode, and possibly many more as he plans to “do as many of them as [he] can.”
This is according to Fincher himself, as he spoke with FincherFanatic.com about the project. He didn’t speak at length, but he did frame exactly why the show is so relevant today, and what he hopes to accomplish with it.
“It was a brilliant TV show, but today is a completely different universe. House of Cards was made during Thatcherism. It was a stiff-upper-lip look at parlamentary politics. Our thing is: Twitter, Newscorp, hacking – and the notion of politics when you stand for nothing. Politics above all. And that was the thing that was transposable, nothing about the actual plot. But the notion of a guy, who can be in the middle of a conversation, turn to the audience and go, ‘This is what pisses me off about people like this guy.’ – ‘Watch. This is how politics works.’ That’s what it’s designed to do. It’s the notion of, let me show you why politics is necessary: because that’s how you validate people within a bureaucracy. The collective confusion is so much more important than singular clarity.”
The rarely politically-overt Fincher clearly relishes the opportunity to set a drama deep within the political sphere, while at the same time breaking down the drama and romance of it (and even the fourth wall?) to find something more interesting. Fincher promises this will be “fun” and not all dour cynicism and the depths of humanity, though I’m not sure that he actually convinces me that will be the case:
“There is nothing optimistic about it, not in the least,” Fincher confirms. “But it’s fun. It’s very fun. It’s interesting in a good way. It’s the kind of shit we should be talking about, which is: Why are we pretending that there are these choices?”
Like many, I find nothing more soul-crushing and generally defeating to my spirit than politics, where every point of view is inevitably stained by limited perception and conveniently discarded facts. Each new political figure, talking point, and party line is more full of bullshit than the last, and it’s impossible to find even a whiff of truth, as at any moment that you feel you’ve grasped on to the facts of a situation it’s always possible to widen your lens a little bit and see a bigger, more complex picture. Pair that with a system that has managed to take all the possible political logic in existence, split it in two, and coat both halves in giant heapings of hypocritical bullshit, and you have an ecosystem built to expunge all moderation. One can only be heard or take action by putting on blinders and forging ahead with whatever seems right at any given moment. Perhaps Fincher can find a way to capture all of this, or perhaps break it down to something quantifiable that drives all of the human beings involved. I’m not sure I believe he can make it “fun” per se, or even find any sense in it, but I’m very willing to bet he can make it “interesting in a good way.”
The show is still in pre-production, with no word on when it will debut or even start shooting. We do know that while there is a Netflix-exclusive window, the show will eventually escape from behind that particular walled garden as Sony has a deal to distribute House of Cards later in its life-cycle.
We’ll bring you more details when we have them.