Some spoilers below for the first season of Amazon's Upload.
For his first big TV follow-up to NBC's The Office, creator Greg Daniels expanded his creative horizons (pun intended) with the Amazon comedy Upload. The near-future series sometimes combines its satirical and absurd comedic situations with hyper-heightened moments of gruesome horror or nerve-rattling suspense, and the show is all the more hilarious for those unpredictable juxtapositions. In fact, Upload features an A+ cameo from The Office star Creed Bratton, and it's arguably the most shocking scene in Season 1.
CinemaBlend spoke with Greg Daniels ahead of Upload's premiere on Amazon Prime Video, and after finding out more about the cliffhanger ending, I had to ask him about the inspiration for having Creed Bratton serve as the big winking cameo for fans of The Office. Especially since the character was only around on screen for a minute or two. Here's what Daniels told me:
It really made me laugh. I mean, I felt like, you know the character is sort of like an old billionaire who has not a lot of time to express a lot with his face. And to me, Creed is incredibly expressive with his face. It just made me laugh that that would be the celebrity cameo for him. So, I don't know, it just seemed funny.
As one of The Office's most unique and endlessly interesting stars, Creed Bratton was indeed the perfect choice to loop into Upload's quirky narrative. He does look like he could be a grizzled billionaire believing he's just found a second lease on life, only to have it ripped away from him in a bloody explosion.
I couldn't see many other Office stars pulling that scene off as successfully as Creed Bratton did, though I suppose Rainn Wilson would be the second-best option. Or maybe even Kate Flannery.
Beyond just being one of Upload's most gory moments (seen in GIF form below), Creed Bratton's cameo also set up a vital plot point that will potentially get played up in a future season, should Amazon decide to renew the show. Here's Greg Daniels on the importance of it all.
But I mean, the beat is important because it introduces into the world the possibility that Nathan could come back in his physical body at some point, and I think that that's a good thing to introduce just to keep the stakes high for the possible romances that he's involved in.
And now for a quick summary for those who haven't even watched the episode and just wanted to know which Office star showed up on Upload. All the (mostly affluential) people who uploaded to afterlife services are basically waiting for scientists to figure out a way to transport human consciousness back into human bodies from the digital world. In Episode 3, "Funeral," it appeared as if researches had cracked the code via a live news broadcast. Obviously, things quickly went south when the billionaire's new body rejected the consciousness, and its head burst like a paper bag filled with tomato soup.
All the Upload fans out there are no doubt hoping that the show does well enough on Amazon Prime Video that the studio decides to renew it for Season 2. After all, we need to learn whether or not Nathan and others will ever be able to return to the land of the living. Not to mention what happens after Ingrid's arrival in Lakeview, and how Nora's trip with Byron goes, and of course, to see if Aleesha ever finds Mr. Caputo.
Upload Season 1 is available to stream in full on Amazon. Stay tuned for more from our interview with Greg Daniels and the cast of Upload, and check out how Creed Bratton would prefer for The Office to return to TV, if it ever does. And don't forget about Daniels' upcoming team-up with Steve Carrell for Netflix's Space Force.