Harvey Keitel as the new boss on The Office?
It sounds like an odd pairing, to say the least, but the more one contemplates Harvey Keitel in the role of the office boss, the more it seems like an inspired choice.
The rumors began just a couple of days ago, when executive producer Paul Lieberstein (who also plays HR rep Toby Flenderson on The Office), gave an interview to eOnline, in which he stated that he was interested in having Harvey Keitel assume the role of the next regional manager of Dunder Mifflin Scranton on The Office.
Lieberstein acknowledged that Harvey Keitel was more than just a pipe dream, and that he was actively being considered and/or recruited for the part. Keitel has been involved in small screen projects recently, most notably the quirky cop show Life on Mars.
In the eOnline interview, Lieberstein even noted that he had cooked up a backstory for Harvey Keitel, were he to accept the role. Says Lieberstein, “He’s an old salesman who thought he could retire and the stock market went down, and he has to come out of retirement to work for a few years.”
In an act of shameless self promotion, let it be known that this is highly similar to the backstory I envisioned weeks ago for a now graying Matt LeBlanc in Five Actors to Replace Steve Carrell on The Office. The Office has always been noteworthy for its ability to integrate highly topical material in to the show in a quasi-realisitic manner. The stock market crash has caused a lot of high level financial employees to scramble for work in other industries, and it just seems to be too fertile territory for The Office to ignore.
As to when or where formal contract negotiations might occur, Lieberstein’s interview offers us no details. Steve Carrell, and his character Michael Scott, will be leaving the show at the end of the upcoming seventh season (though possibilities for guest appearances remain) The first episode of season seven airs in September and will most likely wrap in May.
But given the importance of the character and the imperative to get any recasting right, expect any successor to Steve Carrell to be lined up sooner rather than later–especially if they want to work his character in to the season seven storyline to provide greater continuiny when Carrell departs.
“Steve Carrell’s Replacement on The Office to be…Harvey Keitel!?!” Megan Masters. eOnline. http://ca.eonline.com/uberblog/watch_with_kristin/b198355_steve_carells_replacement_on_office.html. Accessed 9/2/2010.
“Five Actors to Replace Steve Carrell on The Office.” Doug Brockwell. Associated Content. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5539238/five_actors_to_replace_steve_carrell.html?cat=39. Accessed 9/2/2010.