Back in October, John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media (the parent company of Netflix) boldly compared Netflix to HBO. And today, Netflix backed up that claim in a surprising way.
According to Deadline, Netflix is in final negotiations to land "House of Cards," a drama series spearheaded by director David Fincher and Kevin Spacey. Netflix reportedly outbid both HBO and AMC with a surprising two season commitment to "House of Cards," or twenty six episodes total.
The deal is rumored to be worth over $100 million, including production costs and promotion. Netflix is also taking the rare step of jumping straight to series before the pilot is even shot.
Earlier this month, Spacey joined the project as the star and as an executive producer. Fincher will also make his TV directorial debut on the project, which is based on the novel "House of Cards" and the BBC miniseries adaptation. The "House of Cards" book was a political thriller by Michael Dobbs that was set near the end of Margaret Thatcher’s time as prime minister and followed an ambitious politician eager to take her job.
The American adaptation will be set in the U.S., with a new script by Beau Willimon ("The Ides of March").
Neflix’s acquisition of "House of Cards" may represent a seismic shift for the company. For years, Netflix claimed to have no interest in creating original programming. However. recent moves by rivals like Amazon and Facebook (which signed a deal to stream Warner Brothers movies) may have influenced the company to make such a radical action.
Earlier this year, Netflix also signed a deal with CBS to stream episodes of classic series like "Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone" and "Twin Peaks."
But with its first original TV series now in the works, it’s not clear how far Netflix intends to take its newfound programing muscle. If Netflix is truly emerging as a rival to HBO, then it could dramatically alter the landscape of television.