House of Cards put Netflix on the map when it comes to the original content game. Coming off the heels of an ugly breakup with STARZ the company said it was betting on original content and it won big time with Emmy nominations for Cards and regular acknowledgment ever since most recently for Stranger Things. Since House of Cards launched, Netflix has rolled out over 400 original series or programs. Their unbelievable pace leaves every single competitor in the dust as if to say as we sometimes hear in big-time sports “Not our Rival”. But even with that, Netflix should not punt on House Of Cards. The Streaming network owes it to those who have followed the show since its start and watched Frank Underwood slither out of every pickle while destroying every single person around him the satisfaction of seeing him go down. It also owes it to the rest of those involved in the show. Because this is not a case of a show getting axed for bad ratings. This is a show in trouble because of its star.
Netflix dare not write Frank Underwood out of the show and center it on anything else. What are they going to do otherwise? Start off the show with a news report about his recent heart attack or casually write him off like the much-derided Kevin Can Wait? “Oh save this invite to the G8 meeting, there is a coupon for a free Judo Lesson”! Listen I get it. Of course, Netflix needs to part ways with Kevin Spacey at this time. But they don’t need to come up with a reason the Frank isn’t there anymore. They need to replace him. There have been multiple Batman actors, multiple James Bonds, multiple Dr. Whos. While I am not suggesting Netflix have Kevin Spacey regenerate, though that would be hilarious, I believe with the right actor Netflix can push forward and give fans a satisfying conclusion.
Tommy Lee Jones
First off, Tommy Lee Jones would not even have to spend any time learning how to do a convincing Southern accent. Jones has pulled off many authoritative roles in the past and can be likable and hatable and the same time, a key trait needed for Mr. Underwood.
Ian McShane, most recently seen on TV in the STARZ original American Gods, was both frightening and charming as Mr. Wednesday. He’s played many characters like Underwood in the past including an outright modern monarch. He brings a weight to any role he takes on and always gives off that quality that his gears are turning behind his incredibly engaging eyes. Couldn’t you see him throwing an ex-lover into an oncoming train? He has charisma bleeding from his soul.
The ultimate trusted face with an ulterior motive. Usually known for playing a heroic character Sinise has had a few great turns as a villain. He essentially made the movie Snake Eyes and his role in Ransom was also spooky.
This actor jumps headlong into every role he plays and goes right to the edge of over the top. His ability to take hold of larger than life personas might be hard to rival. Such a selection could create quite a buzz for a final season.
Brian Cranston is such a gamer. He has shown tremendous range as an actor and was nothing short of brilliant in Breaking Bad. He was the second biggest reason I was excited about the last Godzilla movie, spoiler (he’s only in it for like 10 minutes). We know he can play duplicitous and can really pull off that dead eyes stare that Spacy worked so well.
If Netflix does recast the role, it would be interesting to see how it handled the recaps. Would it show Spacey in the role in the past or replace him with the replacement and refilm the scenes in an act of “de-Spaceyization”, Yes I made up that word. However it is handled, it should be handled. You don’t simply build an entire web of intrigue, build every character in a show around how they relate to one character, then take them out of the equation like it’s Two and a Half Men. Without Frank does the whole focus becomes taking down Doug Stamper? Yes, Claire Underwood is a co-conspirator but ending the show with her in jail or on the run would be “Frankly” unsatisfying. A lot of people put years of work into that show and according to multiple accounts endured unjust and illegal activities in the process. The cast needs justice far more than the viewing audience and Netflix has the power to make sure it gets it.