Prime Video Australia is remaking The Office as a female-led comedy starring stand-up Felicity Ward in the role Ricky Gervais first made famous.
Gervais’ David Brent will become Hannah Howard in the series, with Ward putting her own spin on bad team management at packaging company Flinley Craddick. When she gets news from Head Office that they will be shutting down her branch and making everyone work from home, she goes into survival mode, making promises she can’t keep in order to keep her ‘work family’ together.
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Ward is best known as a stand-up and for ABC series Spicks and Specks and The Ronnie Johns Half Hour. She also appeared in Wakefield and The Inbetweeners.
Additional cast includes Edith Poor (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Power of the Dog), Steen Raskopoulos (The Duchess, Feel Good), Shari Sebbens (The Sapphires, Thor: Love and Thunder), Josh Thomson (How to Please a Woman, Young Rock), Jonny Brugh (Thor: Love and Thunder, What We Do in the Shadows), Pallavi Sharda (The Twelve), Susan Ling Young (Reckoning, Hungry Ghosts),Raj Labade, Lucy Schmit and Firass Dirani (Underbelly, House Husbands).
This is the thirteenth remake of the show and the first to have a female lead. In the U.S., Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott is one of sitcom’s most famous characters. There have previously been remake in France, Canada, Chile, Israel, the Middle East and Poland, where a third season has just been ordered.
The Office Australia will launch globally on Prime Video in 2024 (excluding the U.S.). BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand and Bunya Entertainment are attached to the eight-part show and eight weeks of filming is due to start in Sydney, Australia in June.
“We are thrilled to be bringing one of the biggest comedy franchises ever made to Prime Video customers in Australia and around the world,” said Sarah Christie, Senior Development Executive Prime Video Australia. “It is an honour to continue the international comedy legacy of The Office locally while introducing new, quintessentially Australian characters. We can’t wait for audiences to meet Hannah Howard, the first female boss The Office format has explored.”
Gervais, who co-created in the original BBC series with Stephen Merchant, added: “I’m very excited about Australia remaking my little show from the turn of the century. Office politics have changed a bit in 20 years, so can’t wait to see how they navigate a modern-day David Brent.”
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