The Office offered $4 million to Sopranos star James Gandolfini for replacing Steve Carell

James Gandolfini as possible Michael Scott replacement (Image via Sick Chirpse)
James Gandolfini as possible Michael Scott replacement (Image via Sick Chirpse)
Palash Reja

In 2013, the office of Dunder Mifflin closed its doors. Lauded as a modern classic, The Office is the closest any sitcom has ever come to capturing the emotions of the fast-paced contemporary office culture and the discomforts of a workplace relationship.

Presented as a funny mockumentary-style ironic take, bundled with countless ridiculous shenanigans, misquotes, and trainwrecks, the NBC sitcom has more online streams than any other show boasting a huge fanbase worldwide.

Fans' love for The Office bottles down to its brutally honest depiction of ordinary characters and their everyday mishaps. The character topping the fan-favorite list is Michael Scott. Played with sheer perfection by Steve Carell, both the character and actor are as popular as the show itself.

Steve Carell left The Office at the end of the seventh season due to some contract issues with NBC. With him, bidding farewell was Michael Scott. Some fans still consider Michael Scott's goodbye as the end of The Office. Such is the legacy of the character. But only a handful of fans know that the producers felt the same way and tried to fill the Steve Carell sized hole with other actors.

In some latest revelations, it has been revealed that The Office offered Sopranos star James Gandolfini $4 million to replace Steve Carell.

James Gandolfini refused to play Michael Scott in The Office

On the latest episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, co-hosts Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa spilled the beans while talking to special guest and creator of the UK and US versions of The Office, Ricky Gervais.

According to the two hosts, Gandolfini was offered $4 million for one season to bring some star power back to Dunder Mifflin after Carell's departure.

Schirripa said:

"This was several years after The Sopranos had already ended, and that was part of the reason why Gandolfini was going to accept the offer. He was going to do it because he hadn't worked, and it was a number of years removed from when the show ended."

Schirripa then followed up with the reason he didn't join The Office:

"That's when HBO offered Gandolfini $3 million to turn the offer down."

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Why did HBO hijack Gandolfini's deal with The Office?

Baffled by the revelations, Gervais inquired about the reason, as any fan would've done. And it all came down to HBO's attempt to keep the legacy of The Sopranos pure.

So Gandolfini turned it down, collected the lump sum of $3 million in the process, and The Office went in the direction of Will Ferrell, James Spader, and many others, only to fail at replacing the heart of the show, disappointing fans along the way.

Also Read: Friends: A definitive ranking of the six main characters based on likability

What if Gandolfini would've agreed to join The Office?

It's interesting to think about a Gandolfini-led office and what it would've looked like. How will things shape up at Dunder Mifflin? Will the office still be as unproductive and fun? Will Dwight still be loyal to the manager, and will he still be Assistant "To" the Manager? What will happen to Kevin and Creed?

There are endless questions and possibilities. Only Marvel's Doctor Strange can assess them. So, let's leave God's work to the superheroes and enjoy one of the greatest modern sitcoms, aka The Office.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the Gandolfini-led office in the comments section below.

Also Read: Nightbirde's inspiring story is taking over the internet: From cancer and divorce to the winner of AGT Golden Buzzer

Edited by Shaheen Banu
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