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House of Cards‘ delayed sixth and final season makes its Netflix debut on Nov. 2 (read our mixed review here), but the sprint to the finish line will be shorter than originally intended. The dismissal of leading man Kevin Spacey and resulting reconstruction of Season 6 led the streamer to scrap the handful of episodes already in the can while also reducing the new season’s episode count from 13 to just 8. But, as showrunners Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese tell TVLine, not all the pre-firing footage was lost.
In the following Q&A, the duo — who assumed control of House of Cards in Season 5 in the wake of series creator Beau Willimon’s exit — open up about the “mourning” period that took place in the wake of Spacey’s departure and share the big “discovery” they made about Robin Wright’s Claire in the midst of retooling the season.
TVLINE - Challenge - Ground - Frank
TVLINE | What was the biggest challenge you faced as you rebuilt Season 6 from the ground up without Frank?
MELISSA JAMES GIBSON | Dealing with the fact that Francis would no longer be on screen, [while] still feeling his presence in story. Trying to figure out how to dramatize it, navigate it and not run away with it.
FRANK - PUGLIESE - | - Francis - Absence
FRANK PUGLIESE | Francis’ absence creates an opening for all of these other characters to try and fill [his shoes] and possibly be [Claire]’s allies or rivals.
TVLINE | You had to scrap several episodes that had already been shot, as well as an entire season’s worth of pre-planned story. How painful was that?
GIBSON - Recalibration - Period - Circumstances - World
GIBSON | It was a significant recalibration. Certainly there was a mourning period. But we had to respond to the given circumstances — in the [real] world but also the world of the show. We knew it was really important to not end...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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