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The Office's Australian Remake To Feature The Franchise's First Female Lead Boss

Amazon Prime Video's Australian division has announced that it's given the green light to a down under version of the much-beloved mockumentary work sitcom "The Office." It has also announced who the titular workplace's boss will be. According to Deadline, the office will be hilariously mismanaged by Hannah Howard, portrayed by Aussie stand-up comedian and actor Felicity Ward. This will be the first time in the international franchise's history that it will be led by a woman.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with past iterations of "The Office" will know that having an oblivious try-hard in the part of the boss is crucial to the formula working. Whether it's the original UK version's David Brent (Ricky Gervais) or the American version's Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the cringe humor and embarrassment on behalf of the bulk of the office's employees relies heavily on the cluelessness of its leadership. 

However, while there have been plenty of memorable female characters in the previous dozen versions of "The Office" — from the US and UK to the Czech Republic to Chile to Saudi Arabia — none have had a female boss. On top of her successful stand-up career, Ward has also become an increasingly familiar face on Australian television, appearing on comedic panel and quiz shows like "Good News Week" and "Spicks and Specks." She also was a writer and performer on sketch comedy show "The Ronnie Johns Half Hour."

The Office in a post-Covid world

"It is an honour to continue the international comedy legacy of 'The Office' locally while introducing new, quintessentially Australian characters," said Sarah Christie, Senior Development Executive for Prime Video Australia, in a statement quoted by Deadline. "We can't wait for audiences to meet Hannah Howard, the first female boss 'The Office' format has explored."

Australia's version of "The Office" will reportedly be updating for the times in other ways. According to Deadline, the starting premise of the show will be that Hannah Howard, manager at packaging company Flinley Craddick, receives a call from the head office telling her that her branch is being shut down, with employees ordered to work from home. While many employees today welcome such a shift, Hannah is so dedicated to the myth of a "work family" and keeping it together that she is sent into a panic, making promises to workers she has no actual ability to keep.

Though no other information is available regarding the show's plot, several other cast members have been announced. These include Edith Poor, recognizable as the Nomad from "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" and as Tanya in "The Power of the Dog," and Shari Sebbens and Jonny Brugh, both of whom appeared in Taika Waititi's "Thor: Love and Thunder." Brugh also appeared in Waititi's 2014 original film version of "What We Do in the Shadows."