Will The Office bring in Billy Connolly or Sandy Duncan to take over Dunder Mifflin from Steve Carell? Creator of the British Office and executive producer on the American one, Ricky Gervais said we’re all thinking wrong. Yes, Carell is leaving The Office at the end of this year, but whoever comes in will be good for the show, not the reporters.
“There’s a lot of talk about who’s going to replace Steve Carrell,” Gervais said in a conference call for his hosting gig at the Golden Globes. “You shouldn’t think like that. Steve Carrell’s an actor. You should think who’s replacing Michael Scott. You’ve got to suspend your disbelief. It’s meant to be a fake documentary. It’s all about the story. Even though we talk about what’s going on behind the scenes and we know Steve Carrell’s an actor, he’s not really a paper merchant in Scranton.”
Gervais even hinted that the new guy might not even be someone we’ve heard of before. “The replacement should be a credible replacement in the story, not if he’s going to be as big a star. When we did The Office we were all unknowns which was perfect for the show. Of course now we’re famous as are all the people in the American Office. You’ve got to do the show the service. It mustn’t be about the politics and the business and what people write about it. It’s got to stand alone one day. You’ve got discover this 1000 years from now in a cave, put it in a player and enjoy it the way it is. There’s too much peeking behind the curtain and everyone worried about what everyone gets paid. You should love it for the work and that should be a surprise. So I’m not saying anything. I think viewers can expect if The Office carries on that it can be as good.”
Season two of HBO’s The Ricky Gervais Show is coming in January for more animated depictions of Karl Pilkington’s philosophy. “It’s better than the first [season],” Gervais said. “The first got better and better I think and this sort of started where it left off but it’s much better. We’ve really hit the ground running and we’v taken a lot more liberties with the direction of the piece. It really adds to the audio now. In the first one, we were quite cautious that we didn’t want to take away from the audio but now we know what adds and subtracts. Everything we do really adds to it.”
You’ll notice Gervais taking Pilkington to the next level with the very first episode. “The first episode will straight away show you the difference with the ambition of the animation, let alone the things we’ve chosen. We’ve gone everywhere with all the stuff we’ve ever done. The first one we did in order. Now we’ve picked the best chunks and woven it in. I hope it goes down even better than the first season.”
If you’ve heard the podcasts, you may already know the story of Pilkington’s pitch to a movie studio. Just wait until you see them animate the movie he describes. “The great thing about episode one is a film company called Karl in, heard him on the radio and called him for ideas. It’s where he comes up with the worst idea for a movie ever. A man puts half his brain into his wife’s body, starring Rebecca DeMornay who he says we haven’t seen in 15 years, and Clive Warren who doesn’t even exist. We see the movie animated because they’re making it.”