Steve Carell's post-'Office' projects: Are you ready to see Michael Scott get serious?

Steve-CarellImage Credit: Michael Loccisano/FilmMagic.comSteve Carell must feel like the prettiest girl at the ball right now, because his dance card is filling up faster than Scarlett O’Hara’s. Mandate Pictures just announced that the actor will star in Dogs of Babel, an adaptation of Carolyn Parkhurst’s novel The Dogs of Babel. Carell will play Paul Iverson, a grief-stricken linguistics professor who tries to teach his dog to talk after his wife’s sudden death. A few days ago, EW confirmed Deadline‘s report that Carell is also in talks to star opposite Meryl Streep in Great Hope Springs, a movie about a troubled couple that turns to a therapist in an attempt to save their marriage. Carell would play the shrink, while Streep will play his female client; James Galdolfini is rumored to be playing her husband.

Those are just the latest additions to a long list of projects that will premiere after Carell exits The Office in May. He’s already finished shooting the infuriatingly punctuated Crazy, Stupid, Love. with Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Kevin Bacon. Additionally, Carell is attached to Burt Wonderstone, a comedy about a Las Vegas magician mourning for his dead partner (Freaks and Geeks fans: The movie was co-written by Sam Weir!), and The Abstinence Teacher, an adaptation of Tom Perotta’s bestseller. Sandra Bullock will also co-star in the latter movie.

Generally speaking, these films have high pedigrees, casts studded with acting powerhouses, and unique premises. With the exception of Burt Wonderstone, they also all sound fairly serious in tone — and even the magician movie seems pretty dark. That means Carell is making a lot of unexpected choices, since he’s much better known as a comedian than as a straight actor; among the movies he’s made already, flicks like Anchorman and The 40 Year Old Virgin have raked in a lot more at the box office than films like Dan in Real Life or even Little Miss Sunshine.

Even so, I’m not worried. Anyone who’s been watching The Office from the beginning knows that Carell has an incredibly wide range — over the past seven years, he’s believably played Michael Scott as everything from an overgrown man-child to a brilliant business tactician. (And yet somehow, the man still doesn’t have an Emmy!) I can’t wait to watch Carell stretch himself onscreen. This diverse group of projects will give him the chance to show Hollywood what he can do — and they’ll also prevent him from being labeled “Michael Scott” for the rest of his career.

Are you excited by Steve Carell’s upcoming movies? Or do you think you’ll miss the Steve Carell who, once upon a time, played Brick Tamland and got into screaming matches with Stephen Colbert?

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
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  • bill

    I think the guy is brilliant. I’m sure there’s no limit to what he can do once given the chance. I’ve been a fan since the Dana Carvey Show. Best of luck to him.

    • Your Queen

      The Office is going to be SAD without him.
      I’m not excited for any of these new projects because it just reminds me that The Office is on it’s last legs.

      • Your Queen

        *its

    • Color Me Impressed

      Judging by his more “dramatic acting” in Dan in Real Life and Little Miss Sunshine, as well as the more serious moments in the Office, I’m going to go ahead and say that I’m pretty sure he can pull all these off just fine. Best of luck to him!

    • Color Me Impressed

      That being said, I hope he stays true to his absurdist-comedy roots as I would love to see him do a couple cameos on the Colbert Report, as well as reprise his role in the hopefully-real Anchorman 2.

  • Indy

    Still think he was brilliant in Little Miss Sunshine. It was subdued humor but serious times too.

  • Sonny

    Never heard of ‘em.

  • helen

    He was fantastic in Little Miss Sunshine. He’s a fine actor and a versatile one.

  • Brian Wallace

    Ok. How about everyone just pumping their breaks.

    Anyone remember “Evan Almighty?” How about “Dan in Real Life?” He got outacted by DANE COOK in that one!?!?!

    Steve Carell. NOT A GREAT CHOOSER OF SCRIPTS!

    Brian

  • ajay c

    Heck,,,if he wants to seriously shift gears, then so be it. As long as he doesn’t pop up in the forthcoming 24 movie.

  • Your Queen

    Screw these projects!

    REWIND.

    Give me Michael Scott on The Office for 2 more seasons!

  • sp

    He deserved an Oscar nomination for Little Miss Sunshine. I promise you , Steve will have a long & varied film career. So many of his peers enjoy working with Carell , and they speak so highly of him .

  • ellie

    I was going to say no, that I’d rather see him in comedies…but then I remembered Evan Almighty.

  • computerharvey

    I don’t care what this guy does. (almost) Everything he does is brilliant. He’s done a lot of comedies lately so I don’t mind to see Steve in more serious roles now. I think he’ll do great. He did a stunning perfomance in Little Miss Sunshine and was amazing in Dan in Real Life too. Steve I’ll be rooting for you at the Oscars!

  • cicisbo

    The Office will tank without him. The guy has a charisma and charm that harkens back to the old actors of the 40s and 50s.

  • Dave

    I still can’t believe he’s never won an Emmy for The Office. Seeing as how he has one last chance, they might give it to him this year as a consolation prize or something, but the fact of the matter is that he is arguably less deserving of it this year than he has been in past years.

  • shels

    I like that Steve has chosen some varied roles. I do think he has a wonderful range. My hopes are that he can promote these new movies on Colbert’s show so the shouting matches will continue :) Love those two together!

  • V

    What was so wrong with Evan Almighty? Although I have to admit that he was so much funnier in Bruce Almighty and even in the smaller roles he’s been in. Anyone seen Sleepover? So funny as the security guard.

    • KD

      I thought “Evan Almighty” was adorable and hilarious–and I think the people here who are hating on it are unaware that it was more aimed at younger kids than its predecessor may have been. I’ve never seen Steve Carell turn in a bad performance. He amazes me.

  • st

    I loved him in Dan in Real Life. I think he has a great range & though I will miss him on The Office, I wish him nothing but the best.

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