Steve Carell won't be in The Office spin-off, the star explains why that was the right decision

THE OFFICE -- Pictured: "The Office" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal)
THE OFFICE -- Pictured: "The Office" Key Art -- (Photo by: NBCUniversal) /

The Office spin-off has caught the attention of many a fan of the original series. It's no wonder since the comedy has a devoted fan base who are always excited whenever the cast reunites. Whether that's for a film like Steve Carell's turn as Blue in John Krasinski's movie IF or a commercial. As such, there's been hope that cast members from the flagship will make an appearance in the spin-off. So far, the answer continues to be no.

Jenna Fischer shared that she hadn't been approached to appear in the series. When asked if he'd be in the comedy, Carell said the following to The Hollywood Reporter:

"I will be watching but I will not be showing up. It's just a new thing and there's no real reason for my character [Michael Scott] to show up in something like that."

Carell's referring to the premise of the spin-off, which is a part of the same universe as Dunder Mifflin, but is about a Midwestern newspaper whose glory days are far behind it. The connecting thread between this series and the original is the camera crew. The same documentary unit that followed the employees at Dunder Mifflin will be capturing the day-to-day work lives of the historic newspaper's staff.

While we're sure it's disappointing to hear Carell won't be in this new series, his reason for not being a part of the cast is a good one. This spin-off is going to need to stand on its own two feet and while a cameo from Michael Scott would be fun for fans, it could wind up being a misstep for the spin-off. At this point, we don't know what kind of dynamic will be established in the show or the comedic tone that it will set. Michael Scott is a part of a certain time and place. Carell had said as much himself back in 2018 when speaking with TIME about the possibility of a reboot for The Office:

"I think it existed in that time and with those people and it felt right. There was something so special about it, and I guess it’s an odd way to put it, but I love it too much to ever want to do it again. It’s too special to me in my heart in that period of time."

The issue with bringing back characters whose stories have concluded satisfactorily is that the story is handed to us once it concludes. We fill in the gaps of what happened next. We create our own progression of the plot or imaginings (often referred to as head-canons) for how life is going for the characters now. Getting updates in a spin-off can be fun, but they can also sour what came before.

The Office spin-off, rather than a reboot, is an opportunity to create a similar magic with a different cast whose alchemy could produce a one of a kind show like the original if they're given the chance to be something on their own. Likely that's why it's the camera crew returning and not established members of the flagship cast, and that we're going to be seeing into the lives of a group of people that belong to an entirely different industry than Dunder Mifflin.

But Carell's absence from the spin-off doesn't mean he's not all in on the new series from the franchise. Here's more on what he told The Hollywood Reporter:

"But I'm excited about it, it sounds like a great conceit. I love the idea--I guess it's set in a failing newspaper company, and I worked with Domhnall Gleeson, who is one of the leads. I did The Patient with him and he's an excellent actor and a super nice guy so I think it'll be great."

The actor not being in the series is a passing of the torch in a sense. His role on The Office has gone down in TV history as an iconic performance. More and more people continue to find the comedy and fall in love with it. That's going to continue. Perhaps, if the spin-off can spark the same fervor, the same will be said in the years to come for this latest entry in the franchise.

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