Ahead of the return of Netflix's acclaimed political thriller House of Cards next month, the first official photos from the new season have been released. The photos provide a first glimpse of what's to come for Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife Claire (Robin Wright) as cracks start to show in both their relationship and political position.
This article contains potential spoilers for House of Cards Season 5.
According to the Express, the first photos of House of Cards Season 5 show Frank preparing to go head-to-head with his opponent in the presidential election, Will Conway (Joel Kinnaman). From the photos, it looks increasingly unlikely that this election will be the slam dunk Frank is hoping for. At the same time, Frank looks to be facing increasing competition from within his own ranks, with Claire, now his vice presidential nominee having her own eyes set of the presidency, and it might not be long until only Frank stands in her way.
From the photos, it appears that Frank now has his long-time political aide and Chief of Staff Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) back by his side. However, as both Frank and Claire go head-to-head this season, Doug also looks set to clash with Claire's Chief of Staff. Will the clash lead to civil war within the Underwood White House?
Elsewhere, according to NME, Frank's Republican presidential rival Will Conway looks to be gearing up for a fight with Frank, with the help of his own wife, Hannah. Conway, who currently serves as the governor of New York, first emerged in the show's fourth season as Frank's Republican rival. At the end of show's fourth season, Conway was leading Underwood by double digits in the polls, which saw Frank and Claire orchestrate the live execution of a hostage in order to bump up their political support in the face of Conway's success.
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Another photo released by Netflix shows Claire sitting in the Oval Office with Patricia Clarkson. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it was confirmed last year that Clarkson will join the cast of House of Cards in Season 5, but it remains unclear what character she will play. However, new photographs suggest it will be one close to the Underwoods.Clarkson, who has starred in Shutter Island, The Green Mile, and Friends With Benefits, most recently made a television appearance as Ron Swanson's wife Tammy on Parks and Recreation. However, she isn't the only new cast member joining House of Cards in its fifth season. She'll reportedly be joined by Campbell Scott, whose credits include The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. That being said, it remains unclear what roles the pair will play in the upcoming season of Netflix's political drama.
There's also speculation that House of Cards Season 5 will attract another big name in Sigourney Weaver. The Alien and Avatar actress will reportedly join House of Cards this season as Will Conway's running mate to take on Frank and Claire. Weaver previously starred as secretary of state in her television political drama Political Animals in 2012. However, there's still no official confirmation from either Netflix or Weaver herself that she will star in the upcoming season of House of Cards.House of Cards' entire fifth season will premiere on Netflix on May 30. In the show's biggest shakeup yet, Melissa James Gibson and Frank Pugliese, who both joined the show in the third season, will take over as showrunners following creator Beau Willimon's departure at the end of the fourth season.
[Featured Image by Netflix]