A feature-length spinoff of the BBC’s The Office has been green-lit, and will chronicle the exploits of everybody’s favorite awkward boss, David Brent. The film, titled Life on the Road, will be directed and written by Ricky Gervais (Muppets Most Wanted), who will also reprise his role as David Brent. Distributor Open Road has bought the rights to the U.S. release, while eOne Features will handle the international rights with a U.K. release date set for August 19, 2016.
While many American audiences may not be familiar with the character of David Brent, they surely know him as the inspiration for Michael Scott, the clumsy, politically incorrect boss at Dunder Mifflin, a paper company based out of Scranton, Pennsylvania in the U.S. version of The Office. That character was played to much adoration by Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), and while some may have been hoping for an American-based spinoff feature film, many who have seen both shows still prefer the original British series.
If anything, Life on the Road may prove to be a way to introduce American audiences to the original series, which only aired for two seasons from 2001 to 2003. There were also some crossover appearances, as David Brent had some cameos on NBC’s The Office.
Along with Stephen Merchant (Table 19), Gervais was the co-creator of the original Office, which was a massive success in Britain. He’s also created several other shows—Extras, Life’s Too Short, Derek—as well as written, directed, and starred in both The Invention of Lying and Cemetery Junction. Gervais also has another film lined up to direct in 2016, Special Correspondents.
Life on the Road will highlight The Office‘s satirical mockumentary approach with a crew following David Brent, who works as a traveling salesman but still aspires to bigger things as he aims to finance a U.K. tour with his band Foregone Conclusion.