The Office’: From Ricky Gervais To Steve Carell To…Harvey Keitel??

More news about U.S. remakes of British shows: the executive producer of the U.S. version of The Office has thrown Harvey Keitel‘s name into the ring as a potential Steve Carell replacement as the boss of Dunder Mifflin. “He’s probably the only guy who can do it, and he’s doing TV now,” executive producer Paul Lieberstein told E! Online. He adds, “He’s a real tough guy, but I saw him in Life on Mars and I saw a lot more comedy in his work, just little slivers of it, little things he would do that made me think he’s capable of a lot more than what [he's done].”

See, I thought Keitel was a total disaster replacing Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt on the U.S. remake of BBC AMERICA’s Life On Mars, primarily because the Bad Lieutenant star was so dreadfully miscast. He’s a great actor no doubt, and Keitel could add a touch of Glengarry Glen Ross realness to The Office, which could be mildly amusing. But a poster over at E! Online had an absolutely genius choice: Christopher Walken. If you’ve ever seen him on Saturday Night Live, you know he could make absolutely anything funny. Check out Mr. Walken doing a spoken word version of Lady Gaga‘s “Poker Face” on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. Brilliant.

As for Ricky Gervais, David Brent on the original UK Office, he doesn’t seem to want the gig, telling New York Magazine: “As David Brent would say, ‘Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt…As I would say, ‘Why would I get up at 6 a.m. five days a week for seven years when I can hire someone else to do that and still get my syndication money?’” If we can’t get our David Brent back, I’d be fine with whomever Ricky endorses for the role. So tell me, who would you pick to replace Steve Carell on The Office? Keitel? Walken? Any Brits you’d put in the running?

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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