Let's admit it. The American version of The Office has jumped the shark. Now in its ninth season, the show is slogging along without Michael Scott, America's answer to the David Brent character created by Ricky Gervais in the original Britcom. But over in Germany, their version of The Office--called Stromberg--is getting an upgrade to the big screen.

THR reports the series, which drew its final curtain last January after five seasons, is on track to getting a movie version of its fly-on-the-wall office antics next year. News of the planned production was announced once the regional body Filmstiftung NRW and the German Federal Film Board pledged roughly $1.3 million in state film subsidies to the project, matching the financing already raised through crowdfunding.

More than 3,000 fans who missed the recently wrapped series raised their $1.3 mil contribution in just one week, giving a boost to the project that its producers desperately needed after more conventional means of securing financing had failed. Their investment as well as apparent enthusiasm for the would-be film stirred up buzz and urged the state funding boards to back the Stromberg movie. Now, fans who helped finance the pic not only get to see their favorite characters take to the big screen--for what should be a whole new level of office shenanigans--they'll also get tickets to the film's premiere, and possibly a share of its profits, depending on how much they contributed.

While the film industry is driven by the demand of what studios think audiences want, this is an exciting example of audiences directly driving demand. It'll be interesting to see if such a model might prove useful to filmmakers stateside.

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