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The Office Star Leslie David Baker Is Trying To Make Fans' Dreams Come True

Talk of an Office reboot or reunion has been around almost as long as the show has been off the air, and one former star of the NBC comedy is taking a step towards making something happen. 

Back in late 2018, five years after the hit NBC comedy ran its two-part, Emmy-winning finale, The Office showrunner Greg Daniels hosted a private informal reunion with several cast members — including Jenna Fischer (Pam Halpert), Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute), Ed Helms (Andy Bernard), Phyllis Vance (Phyllis Smith), and Oscar Nunez (Oscar Martinez). Shared on social media by several of its celebrity attendees, the brunch sparked rumors of a possible on-screen reunion. Then in March 2020, during an episode of The Office and A Quiet Place star John Krasinksi's at-home news show Some Good News, his former fictional boss and Space Force lead Steve Carrell appeared. During their chat, Krasinksi acknowledged both the calls for an Office reunion and his hopes for the cast to reunite in-person to "just say hi." 

Several cast members have offered conflicting opinions on a formal on-screen reboot or reunion over the years. But actor Leslie David Baker, who played the famously straight-faced salesman Stanley Hudson for all nine seasons of the show, is going beyond a cast meet-up with a crowd-funded spin-off titled Uncle Stan: Coming Out of Retirement (via IndieWire)

Baker officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the project, which would see him reprise his role in a storyline that would pick up right where The Office finale left his character — retirement in Florida. The actor announced the project on his Instagram page on July 1, 2020 — one day before the 30-day funding campaign kicked off. "It's True! I'm really back! Uncle Stan coming soon!" Baker captioned his announcement post.

Leslie David Baker's new project would focus on Stanley's extended family

According to the Kickstarter page, the plot of Uncle Stan: Coming Out of Retirement would see the curmudgeonly retiree and his soon-to-be-fiancée uprooted from Florida to Los Angeles to help a family member. The gist is that Baker's "Uncle Stan" has been enjoying a laidback life of wood-carving, white sand beaches, and disco dancing since leaving Scranton behind. But when Stanley gets a call from his nephew, Lucky, asking for help with managing his flailing motorcycle-slash-flower shop, unruly staff, and two kids, Stanley will have to use his "no-nonsense" charms to help Lucky get his life back on track — without totally derailing his own. 

Baker is looking to raise $300,000 to fund the production, though it's not yet clear if this will be a multi-episode series or just a single episode. As of July 6, 2020, the campaign has raised more than $29,000 of its pledged goal, thanks to over 200 backers. The funding page also reveals the kinds of perks The Office star and his creative partner Sardar Khan are offering fans who pledge to the Kickstarter campaign. Among the full range of rewards are things like website shout-outs, behind-the-scenes production updates, signed scripts and Blu-rays, set and writers room visits, premiere tickets, and dinner with the cast. 

In a second video posted to Instagram, a smiling Baker takes the time to thank those who have already backed the crowd-funding effort, and to encourage Office fans to share the campaign with others. "Our goal is to bring a high-quality program and involve all of the fans that have been so very supportive of my career these past 16 years," Baker says. 

It's not clear yet whether the effort would feature Baker's former Office stars, but while the project is being funded, you can watch (or re-watch) the Dunder Mifflin crew's virtual reunion hosted in May.