Netflix’s Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright-led House of Cards has unsurprisingly been renewed for a fifth season, but showrunner Beau Willimon will not be returning with it.
Netflix has yet to name a new showrunner to replace Willimon on the award-winning series, scheduled to return for its fifth go in 2017. The high-stakes political drama’s highly anticipated fourth season premieres on March 4.
The announcement was officially made in a network statement last Thursday.
“Concurrent with the renewal, creator and showrunner Beau Willimon is departing the critically acclaimed series,” Netflix said. “Netflix and MRC 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. The producers, cast and crew join us in wishing Beau the best in his next creative adventure.”
The split is an amicable one, with Willimon expressing gratitude over his time working on the North American adaptation of the BBC mini-series of the same name, based on a novel by Michael Dobbs. The series follows Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from South Carolina who is passed over for appointment as Secretary of State. Underwood, along with his wife Claire (Robin Wright), carry out an elaborate political chess game in order to get him into a position of power.
Willimon served as the series’ primary writer during its earlier seasons, having written the large majority of episodes. He scaled back his writing commitment to just four episodes for last year’s third season.
“Im 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 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.”
House of Cards was Willimon’s first major foray into the television storytelling medium. He is also known for his previous work as playwright of the political stage drama “Farragut North.” The play was later adapted into the motion picture feature The Ides of March. Directed by George Clooney, Willimon’s co-writing credit on the film earned him an Oscar nomination.