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As anyone who watches Showtime’s sixteenth century drama The Borgias knows, the Papacy and political intrigue go hand in hand. But it was an obsession with House of Cards and the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI that inspired two filmmakers to create House of Cardinals.
Since they uploaded the video to YouTube, writer-directors Jon Deutsch and Ross Cohen’s trailer has gone viral and received kudos from House of Cards cast members and creator Beau Willimon.
In the video, an ambitious cardinal (Tony Pasqualini), who bears more than a passing resemblance to Kevin Spacey’s Cards character, hustles around Vatican City, making deals in hopes of becoming the next Pope.
“Religion’s a lot like celebrity. The more you get your face around, the more God seems to reward you,” he says.
The writer-directors tell The Hollywood Reporter they see their video as a tribute to the Netflix hit rather than a parody of it. The idea came to them shortly after Benedict’s resignation, and they feared Saturday Night Live or someone else would think of the concept of House of Cardinals before they had a chance to make their trailer.
They shot like crazy for a day around Los Angeles and edited for four more to get it done.
The video went viral, but the pair’s crowning achievement came when Cards creator Willimon wrote them to say the cast, producers and writing team got a big kick out of House of Cardinals. A number of the show’s cast members, including Kate Mara, Kristen Connolly and Sebastian Arcelus, also shared the video on Twitter.
“There’s no higher praise you can get,” Deutsch says.
Watch the House of Cardinals trailer below.
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