Steve Carell has been making the rounds doing press for his new movie that opens this weekend, Welcome to Marwen, which is about a nice guy who gets savagely attacked so badly that it erases his memories. As part of sitting for interviews about the movie, though, Carell has also had to deal with the modern entertainment version of those reporters who always used to ask The Beatles when they’d be getting back together.
In Carell’s case, it’s whether he’d ever consider returning to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the office of the beloved paper company depicted in NBC’s hit series The Office. Sorry, though, folks — Carell just gave an interview explaining why that’s absolutely out of the question, as far as he’s concerned.
Collider just published the answer they got when one of the site’s reporters asked Carell if he had any desire to play the character of the bumbling but lovable Michael Scott again, of if there are any circumstances that could compel him to participate in an Office remake?
Carell’s answer: “I’ll tell you, no. I feel like I’m a broken record, talking about this because I get asked about it. The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air. I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be. Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was. You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same. So, no. But, I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. We all love it. It was a special thing. It was a special thing before people thought it was a special thing. It was special to us, before other people started feeling that way. But, no.”
Somewhere, Dwight Schrute is kneeling in front of a beet on his farm; sullen, a man in despair at the thought his hero will never return. Carell, at any rate, says it comes down to the fact that he thinks a remake of some kind just won’t be able to capture the “magic” of what they had when the show was on air.
“…The fact that other people have found it, over the years, is really cool,” he told Collider. “It’s really flattering that it’s somehow caught people’s attention, so many years later. But, I don’t think you can recapture that same magic. I really think it comes down to that. If it was magic. I don’t want to overstate it. It was just a TV show. I just wouldn’t want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it. The odds wouldn’t be in its favor, in terms of it recapturing exactly what it was, the first time.”
That’s not to say, of course, that there won’t ever be an Office reboot or sequel of some kind in our future. People certainly still love the show — like, really love it. So much so that NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt himself told New York magazine that it’s his understanding The Office is the most-popular acquired show on Netflix in terms of viewership.
“I believe that Netflix has helped make The Office extraordinarily popular, and more popular than it was when it was on the network,” he told the outlet. “And they pay us a lot of money for it. If we knew how popular it was going to be before they made the deal, we would have asked for more money from them!”