Netflix crime series La Casa de Papel’s title translates to The House of Paper, but was changed to Money Heist in the U.S. Here’s why.
The original Spanish title of Netflix crime drama La Casa de Papel translates to The House of Paper in English, but was changed to Money Heist for the U.S. release. The title has been criticized by fans for being too blunt and clumsy, especially compared to the poetry of the show’s original name. While Netflix hasn’t given any official explanation for the change, the most likely reason for it is that the streaming service wanted to avoid confusion with one of its biggest hit U.S. shows, House of Cards.
In Money Heist’s original title, the “house of paper” is a reference to the Royal Mint, the heist target in seasons 1 and 2. Though the Royal Mint already has a stash of cash in its vaults, it’s revealed that the Professor’s plan is for the team of robbers to use the Royal Mint’s machinery to print their own unmarked bills, with a goal of printing €2.4 billion. This plan requires the team to remain holed up in the Royal Mint for 11 days with hostages, holding off a police siege as they literally print their own money. It was an audacious plot, and one that the Professor had spent years planning.
While Money Heist was a surprise hit for Netflix, House of Cards was one of the service’s earliest flagship original TV shows, along with titles like Orange is the New Black and Hemlock Grove. Had La Casa de Papel been released as The House of Paper in English-speaking regions, it would likely have caused confusion. Viewers might have thought that it was a spinoff of House of Cards, or even a Spanish remake of the show.
Another reason why La Casa de Papel’s title may have been changed to Money Heist for U.S. audiences is simple marketing: Money Heist might be blunt, but it’s also a very straightforward summary of what the show’s about and sells the crime caper angle very strongly. Audiences generally have a built-in resistant to shows where they have to read subtitles, so even a slightly obscure-sounding name like The House of Paper may have discouraged Netflix viewers from giving the show a chance. Inelegant as Money Heist’s title may be, season 4 was one of Netflix’s top 10 most-watched titles in the U.S. following its release, which is a big achievement for any international show. The straightforward labelling may well have helped it to reach that point.
Money Heist season 4 ended with the team still in the middle of their second big heist: a raid of the Bank of Spain in Madrid, where they plan to melt down and escape with 90 tons of gold. Whether they call it La Casa de Papel, Money Heist, Dom z Papieru, Papirhuset, La Casa di Carta, Rahapaja, or Haus des Geldes, fans all over the world are eager to see how this money heist ends.