Female-Led ‘The Office’ Series To Stream On Prime Video
By Mikelle Leow, 31 May 2023
Mindy Kaling, who was one of the writers on the American version of The Office and also played a chatty employee named Kelly Kapoor in it, has said much of the hit sitcom wouldn’t fly if it aired in this landscape. The series poked fun at gender dynamics, racial stereotypes, and other themes that could be deemed as inappropriate today.
Now, those stories will have a shot at genuinely delighting a new generation of viewers. Prime Video Australia has announced that The Office will be adapted with a female lead, who will be played by stand-up comedian Felicity Ward (seen below).
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The Office Australia will center around Hannah Howard—the female counterpart to America’s Michael Scott and the UK’s David Brent—who works as a managing director at a packaging company called Flinley Craddick, according to Variety.
That is, until she learns that her branch is being shut down and that her staff will have to work from home (the mockumentary takes place post-COVID). This pushes Hannah to plot to keep her “work family” together at all cost.
The Australian adaptation will be an eight-part Amazon Original show, and filming will take place over eight weeks beginning June.
It will launch globally, except in the US, on Prime Video in 2024.
The Office franchise, which originated in the UK and was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, has been adapted a dozen times across the world, including in France, Canada, and the Middle East. The American edition is by far the most popular.
However, this is the first time a woman will lead the workplace comedy.
Ward will be joined by actors including Edith Poor (The Lord of the Rings), Steen Raskopoulos (The Duchess), Shari Sebbens (Thor: Love and Thunder), Josh Thomson (How to Please a Woman), Jonny Brugh (Thor: Love and Thunder), Pallavi Sharda (The Twelve), Susan Ling Young (Reckoning), Raj Labade, Lucy Schmit, and Firass Dirani (Underbelly).
Sarah Christie, Senior Development Executive at Prime Video Australia, says the crew is “thrilled” to take on one of the biggest comedy franchises and expand on its legacy with “new, quintessentially Australian characters” as well as introduce the first leading female boss it has ever had.
And Gervais, who previously joked that The Office would be subjected to “cancel culture” in this era, says he “can’t wait” to see how the show creators will reimagine David Brent for this generation.
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