A lot of writers are taught to “write what you know,” the idea being that if you pull from your own experiences or expertise, you’ll end up with more confident and more thoughtful prose that is an honest reflection of who you are as a writer and a person. Better yet, if the “what you know” bit is “workplace comedy” and you’re a veteran of The Office, that’s a good excuse to just lean into it and make more workplace comedies.
That’s what The Office executive producers Ben Silverman and Paul Lieberstein (the former popped up as one of the dudes at Athlead and the latter is, of course, Toby Flenderson) are apparently doing, with Deadline revealing that the two of them are making a “workplace comedy film” for Comedy Central that is tentatively titled Out Of Office. (That title is a little on-the-nose, huh?) The movie, which Lieberstein will write and direct, is about “the blurring lines between working from home and would-be/should-be private life,” focusing on a woman who “finds that keeping her job is somehow tied to helping her boss navigate his fast-failing marriage.”
Now, if this were any other workplace comedy film, the obvious similarities to The Office would be the only thing we’d talk about, but Out Of Office has a secret weapon in the form of a ridiculously solid cast: Ken Jeong, Leslie Jones, Jason Alexander, Cheri Oteri, Jay Pharoah, Milana Vayntrub, Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Rash, Chris Gethard, and Oscar Nuñez. Wait a minute… Oscar Nuñez? He’s from The Office! Is this just The Office? You can’t fool us, Lieberstein! B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling are hiding somewhere behind the scenes, aren’t they? We know the Office Ladies are getting ready to share some fun details about this movie right at this moment! Don’t try to fool us with one of those classic Jim pranks!
Regardless of whether or not this is The Office, Deadline points out that it sounds like it’s a new version of a similar project called Remote that Silverman and Lieberstein were shopping around at the start of the pandemic.