Ricky Gervais has never come close to topping The Office’s David Brent. While that’s a tad disappointing, it’s also completely understandable when you consider just how well written the character was. But it turns out that Brent’s journey is far from over, because it’s now been confirmed that The Office spinoff film, Life On The Road, has received financing over in Cannes.
Variety confirmed that Life On The Road will be financed by Entertainment One and BBC Films, while a distribution deal has also been orchestrated with eOne Features and eOne for the United Kingdom and Australia/New Zealand too. It’s hardly surprising that BBC Films decided to take a punt on Life On The Road as they produced The Office too.
Much like The Office, Life On The Road will be a mockumentary that revolves around a crew catching up with Ricky Gervais’ David Brent over a decade after first meeting him. Brent now works as a travelling salesman while he also pursues his dream of being a bona-fide rock ‘n’ roll star with his band Foregone Conclusion. Life On The Road follows the outfit as they embark on a U.K. tour, and from the previous performances of David Brent’s music, it’s safe to say that it’s not going to go well.
Along the way, let’s hope that we’re privy to a number of classic tunes that have previously been belted out by the character over the years. I’m going to assume that he’ll start his concerts with the rollicking "Equality Street," which Ricky Gervais and Doc Brown recorded for Comic Relief back in 2013.
Brent will then probably slow it down with his first and only single from Juxtaposition Records, which was his cover version of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ classic 1972 single, "If You Don’t Know Me By Now."
And, of course, he’ll leave them wanting more with the classic number that left a small Scottish outfit named Texas quaking in their boots:
Ricky Gervais was clearly overjoyed with the news regarding Life On The Road’s progress, and he also teased:
The film delves much more into his private life than The Office ever did and we really get to peel back the layers of this extraordinary, ordinary man.
While I'm overjoyed that we're once again going to catch up with David Brent, it's a little bit disappointing to see that Gervais is so devoid of imagination that he has been forced to return to the beloved character for a project. It's basically as if he's turned into the British Kevin Smith. But after the terrific Extras was followed up with the underwhelming Cemetry Junction, Life's Too Short, and Derek, you can see why Gervais has returned to Brent for inspiration. Another worry is that the project is coming solely from Gervais, and Stephen Merchant, who co-wrote and co-directed The Office, is nowhere to be seen. Hopefully Gervais will be able to keep the character in check without Merchant's presence, but I'm concerned he could become too outlandish with Gervais being given free reign.
But that's a problem for another day. Today we should just celebrate that we'll get to see more new adventures of David Brent at some point in the near future. Fingers crossed that production begins before the end of the year, and hopefully Life On The Road will arrive at some point in 2016. Until then we should all dust off our Office DVDs to remind ourselves of Ricky Gervais in his prime.