We hope you enjoyed the interlude between Office casting rumors, because your vacation is over: Entertainment Weekly is reporting that James Spader is currently in talks to join the series after his strong showing in the season finale—but frustratingly, it’s not as simple as merely usurping Steve Carell’s old position. As was slyly hinted at during Spader’s interview scene, his supremely confident former industrial magnate is exceedingly overqualified for the task of running a mere middling branch.
Instead, Spader is expected to be introduced in the fall as the new manager, only to immediately leverage his way into becoming the new CEO of Sabre by ousting Kathy Bates, who plans to exit the show anyway in order to focus on dispensing more eye-rolling justice over on Harry’s Law. That means the manager’s chair would be, yes, still open, leaving room for even more drawn-out casting speculation. British comedian Catherine Tate was an early favorite, until her theater schedule potentially got in the way. Expect to hear a definite decision on her participation soon—or don’t, probably, as the guessing game over which guest star will join The Office is now entering its first year of being a new national pastime.