Ricky Gervais is returning to the role that launched him to acclaim and comedy stardom, as the funny-man and ex-Golden Globes host is set to star as David Brent, the acerbic middle-manager he played on BBC’s The Office, in Life on the Road, a spinoff that will focus on Brent 15 years after the events of the short-lived BBC comedy series.
BBC Films, who are producing the spinoff, said that Life on the Road will focus on what has happened to the character since his layoff from Wernham Hogg. “He’s a sales rep now, selling cleaning products up and down the country, but has never really given up on his dream of being a rock star,” the press release stated. The film will focus on this ex-manager trying to self-fund a music tour, as the title suggests, which will likely not go swimmingly.
Gervais’ Brent was the inspiration for Steve Carell’s Michael Scott on the NBC series of the same name. While the role helped to boost Carell’s profile in American film, Gervais has continued to be a homegrown success, although he has had a few modest hits in North America (such as The Invention of Lying and Muppets Most Wanted). He’s also up for his third Emmy this year, nominated for the comedy Derek, and is currently filming Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, where he will reprise his role as Dr. McPhee.
Life on the Road will go into production in 2015. It was not announced if the film would be released theatrically or be made for TV, but one can imagine that with Gervais’ higher profile in Europe, it will get a wider theatrical release across the pond. It could, however, turn out to be similar to Steve Coogan’s portrayal of Alan Partridge, which saw a TV-to-film adaptation come out to little buzz in North America this year.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter