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The Reason Steve Carell Will Never Do A Reboot Of The Office

For seven increasingly cringe-worthy seasons, he baffled the minds and tickled the funny bones of TV audiences across the country and beyond. But after Steve Carell's surprising season 7 departure from NBC's groundbreaking mockumentary series The Office, the show's rabid fanbase wondered if and when Carell's kind-hearted yet astoundingly dim-witted Michael Scott might once again stalk the cubicles of Dunder-Mifflin.

That question was answered during the series' heartfelt finale back in 2013. As a quick reminder, Carell's cameo came as a bit of a shock (albeit a more than welcome one) to fans of the show, as the actor, NBC, and pretty much the entire cast of The Office had spent the months leading up to the finale essentially lying to our faces about his involvement on the episode. While that finale was a somber occasion for fans of the series, Carell's appearance ultimately helped the occasion feel more like a fond farewell to a friend than a small screen funeral. 

In the years since The Office officially shuttered, the series has become a legit sensation on streaming services, and even led to a fairly tense bidding war between NBC and streaming giant Netflix to secure broadcast rights to the series, with NBC ultimately dropping a cool $500 million to bring the series back home.

With the series still in such high demand (and given the fact that we're living in the age of the reboot-slash-reunion), the stage seems set for another visit to The Office. And though many of the series' original cast seem game to return to Dunder-Mifflin, the most pressing question has always been whether or not the big boss himself would reprise his role for a reboot. As it happens, Carell's answer is — and apparently always will be — a resounding "no." 

The magic of The Office might be gone for good

As for why Carell will never appear in a reboot of The Office, well, the answer remains quite simple: he just doesn't believe the show will ever be as special as it was when it first aired. 

During a 2018 press conference for his film Welcome to Marwen, Carell appeared to lay the question of whether he'd return for a new run of Office episodes to rest for good when he gave this blunt, but thoughtful answer: "I'll tell you no. I just can't see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing." He then added, "You'd literally have to have all the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, the same actors, and even with all those components, it still wouldn't be the same thing."

It's hard to argue with Carell's estimation that — in spite of the show's continued appeal — The Office was sort of a bottled lightning moment for most everyone involved. It's also worth noting that the series' schtick (driven mostly by absurd plot lines and Michael Scott's wacky antics) was already starting to wear thin when Carell recused himself from the fray after season 7. Things only got more ridiculous after Carell left, even though The Office managed to retain much of its viewership in his absence with the stars like John Krasinski, Jenna Fisher, Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, and Craig Robinson all increasing their screen time. 

In spite of Carell's insistence that we'll never again bear witness to Micheal Scott's dumbfounded scowl spiking the camera, he appears to have nothing but fond memories of his time on the series. and in particular the people he worked with. He offered in the same Welcome to Marwen presser, "I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. It was special to us." Of course, Carell followed those loving sentiments with a few more about why he'd never return: "I don't think you can recapture the same magic. I just wouldn't want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it."

Steve Carell is a bonafide star these days

There's clearly a sense of finality to Carell's comments, and we can't help but agree that the odds would not be in favor of a reunion show or reboot being anywhere near as much fun as the first few seasons of The Office really were. Still, Carell has made great sport of teasing a reunion over the years — be it through winking tweets, or by throwing some love in the direction of his cast mates via a response to Angela Kinsey's social media post that showed the gang back together again. So yeah, it seems the love between the former Office workers is more than real. Given the history of everyone involved in misleading fans about Carell's involvement in the series finale, hope may yet remain that the funnyman might one day change his mind about an Office reboot.

That being said, the large part of the story is that the surprisingly versatile Carell has found legitimate star power in Hollywood — appearing in a broad swath of films including blockbuster comedies, animated franchises, politically charged dramas, and low-budget indies alike since leaving The Office. Though he's had a few missteps of late (see the dreadfully received Welcome to Marwen), there's still little reason to believe that Carell's star will fade anytime soon. In fact, he's got a few more films currently in the works, and is set to make his return to television opposite Jennifer Aniston in the hotly anticipated series The Morning Show

It appears the real question is whether Steve Carell even have time to shoot a reboot of The Office. At least for the moment, that question remains moot, as Carell continues to claim he has zero interest in doing so. 

The good news is that the original run of The Office isn't going leave streaming land anytime soon. It's currently slated to make the jump from Netflix to NBC's Peacock platform early next year, which means we won't really be saying goodbye to the self-appointed "World's Greatest Boss" (or "World's Worst Boss," depending on how you skew) anytime soon.