You had to know the braintrust running the "Office" would have to go a different direction once Steve Carell carpools off into the sunset at the end of the season.
But the idea of Harvey Keitel as a replacement? That's really going in a different direction.
"He's probably the only guy who can do it and he's doing TV now," said Paul.
Naturally, no one has even approached Keitel about the news. Minor details, right?
But it sends a strong direction on the thought process here. They are not looking for a Steve Carell clone.
"We don't want to bring in another Michael, having someone play a very similar character because we have such a high regard for Steve," said Lieberstein.
It also shows they are not going to hire within most likely (sorry Dwight Shrute)
But the expression of these sentiments is a little puzzling. We love the bold casting and Mr. White from "Reservoir Dogs" would certainly make sure that everyone tipped well at TGIFridays during the next office business lunch.
But why raise this level of expectation so early in the game if there's a very good chance that Keitel will say no? And then limit yourself to this being the only guy who can really do it?
Even if he's "doing" TV, does he really want to sit in Carell's already warm "Office" chair and live with that level of expectation and then carry the burden if it doesn't work? It would be a bold move on both parts.