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Office Space 2 - Will It Ever Happen?

Since its release in 1999, "Office Space" has earned a devoted following thanks to its satirical take on the soul-crushing world of corporate life. Written and directed by Mike Judge, the film focuses on a group of ordinary white-collar workers whose mind-numbing daily routines have them at their wit's end. Ron Livingston stars as Peter Gibbons, a disillusioned software engineer who feels trapped in a monotonous job at the nebulous computer company Initech. With the help of two disgruntled coworkers — the loveable slackers Michael Bolton (not the singer) and Samir Nagheenanajar — Peter hatches a plan to get even with his corporate overlords.

Mike Judge, known at the time as the mastermind behind "Beavis and Butt-Head" and "King of the Hill," brought his razor-sharp comedy and social satire to the big screen with "Office Space," revealing the ridiculousness of cubicle culture. A fan favorite that has endured for decades, the film tapped into the frustration and disillusionment felt by many office drones.

However, as beloved as "Office Space" has become, the possibility of a follow-up remains unknown, even as rumors have teased the idea of a sequel. The film's seemingly ageless appeal and the continued popularity of its characters may make a sequel a promising prospect for both Hollywood and moviegoers. To this day, any time a member of the cast or crew is interviewed, a potential sequel remains a topic of conversation, as countless fans are still wondering if they'll get another helping of "Office Space."

Why hasn't a sequel to Office Space happened yet?

Unlike so many other sequels that never happened, "Office Space 2" hasn't gone unmade because of any one particular reason. "Office Space" wasn't a huge hit in theaters in 1999, but that's only part of the problem, because the movie became an instant cult classic when it was released on DVD. It could have gotten a sequel on the strength of its popularity on video and TV alone, but by the early 2000s, Jennifer Aniston was a bankable movie star, which would have made it difficult to reunite the cast.

The bigger problem, though, is that the movie's creator and writer Mike Judge was ambivalent about the idea of making another film. In 2009, Judge was talking to the Times Union to promote another film and the topic of him directing an "Office Space" sequel came up. "I don't think so. Maybe there was a time I would have thought about it," he said. Unfortunately, Judge realized that not long after his movie, the office-based stories were being done well enough on TV that he'd have nothing new to say, and he's continued to insist he's not interested.

"I just can't see [it] ..." he told Rolling Stone in 2011. "There's been so many good shows, like the British 'Office' and the American 'Office.' So much good cubicle stuff." He also seemed concerned about how long it's been since the original "Office Space" came out, and whether there would still be an audience for any potential sequel.

What have the cast said about a sequel to Office Space?

Fans have been crying out for a sequel to "Office Space" ever since it became a cult favorite, but the cast seems less convinced. Actor Gary Cole, who played smug, condescending, and highly annoying boss Bill Lumbergh, sat down for an interview with Larry King Live and was asked if audiences might ever see a second movie, to which he replied: "I think that would have to do with Mike [Judge] and I don't think Mike is interested in that."

Cole isn't alone in that opinion. It's one shared by the movie's star, Ron Livingston, who played fed-up office worker Peter Gibbons. Talking to Talk Stoop with Nessa in 2018 while promoting "Loudermilk" and "A Million Little Things," he too was asked if there would ever be an "Office Space" sequel. "Well I don't think so," Livingston responded. "Two reasons, I think if there were going to be a sequel it would have happened by now, and the second reason is Mike Judge has just never been the person to do something because it would be lucrative to do it. It always ends up being lucrative, but it seems to always start out with some out-of-left-field crazy genius idea that Mike has."

Livingston also doesn't think Judge has had the creative inspiration to write a sequel. "I think Mike probably feels like we did that, we already explored that, we don't have anything more to say about that."

What has Mike Judge said about a sequel?

The cast of "Office Space" has chimed in more than once about director and creator Mike Judge's lack of enthusiasm for a new movie, but what does Judge himself have to say? Thankfully, quite a bit — it may surprise some fans to hear, but at one point he actually was quite ready to consider a second film.

"At one point a while back I considered doing a sequel to 'Office Space,'" Judge said while speaking with MassLive in 2009, "But I wouldn't do one now." Once again, Judge cited the success of other workplace comedies that explored all the same themes as his movie, and how it dampened his enthusiasm for revisiting his iconic '90s film. "I kind of feel like I wouldn't want to go back to it at this point." But that's not the only reason that he's reluctant to work on a follow-up, as he revealed to the Wrap in 2015 while promoting his workplace sitcom, "Silicon Valley."

Judge apparently had a problem with executives at Fox while making another project, and the Wrap reported that those factors all led to Judge deciding that "that ship has likely sailed." It wasn't helped by actor Gary Cole, who reprised his role as Lumbergh for a HipChat comedy short, which he felt was "not very well done" and was "the final nail in the coffin" for the franchise.

What would be explored in a follow up film?

We don't know much about what kind of story a sequel to "Office Space" would explore, mostly because it's never really been given serious consideration. Even its cast seems confused by what a second movie would even be about. "I do get a lot of people asking me about that, whether there's going to be a sequel or not," Livingston said to GQ. "My answer is, generally, I'm not exactly sure what it would look like. I don't know how you would do a sequel to it. As a one-off, I think it stands pretty well on its own two feet."

That doesn't mean that ideas weren't considered, though. As noted in the book "100 Greatest Cult Films," the studio actually asked Judge to write a film, and gave him a proposed title, "Office Space: Still Renting." The problem is that the conclusion of "Office Space" wasn't really set up for another movie. The ending sees Initech burned to the ground, and Peter ditching his dreary cubicle life for a more fulfilling career as a construction worker. "[Peter] was probably killed in a construction accident shortly thereafter," Livingston told Entertainment Weekly.

If a sequel were made today, the decades that have passed since the movie was released in 1999 must also be considered. By now, Peter, Joanna, Michael, and Samir would all be in their 50s or older, which would definitely make for a very different kind of story, whether they're dealing with a mid-life crisis or attempting to balance work and family.

Who would star in a sequel to Office Space?

If you're one of the many fans hoping for a sequel, you might be wondering which actors would return. We've heard from Gary Cole and Ron Livingston, neither of whom seem to think that a sequel is ever going to happen, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't return if it ever did.

"Here's the thing," Livingston said, speaking to Access Hollywood in 2018. "The genius of the movie comes out of the genius of Mike Judge's head. So if Mike Judge wrote a script that he felt was worth making, I guarantee it'd be worth making." So if Judge did come up with a new idea, it sounds like Livingston would be happy to return. But what about the rest of the cast, without whom fans wouldn't be satisfied with a sequel? Would anyone else have an interest in returning to their iconic roles?

We haven't heard from co-stars like Jennifer Aniston, Ajay Naidu, or David Herman, but we do have an answer from John C. McGinley, who played one of the Bobs, the two corporate higher-ups at Initech. Speaking to the Dallas Observer on the occasion of the film's 10th anniversary, McGinley was asked what it would take to reunite with his castmates for another movie, and he responded with a half-joking, but totally blunt response: "Pay me." One unexpected name that is up for an appearance is Michael Bolton — the singer — who said during a Reddit AMA, "Hoping they would do an 'Office Space 2' and have me in it."

Office Space had a kind of sequel -- Extract

Unless you dutifully follow the work of "Office Space" creator Mike Judge, you may not have realized that the film already has a quasi-sequel. It doesn't continue the story of Peter, Michael, and Samir, or any of its quirky side characters either, but the 2009 film "Extract" is a similar black comedy about a man and his work. It stars Jason Bateman from "Arrested Development" as Joel Reynolds, the owner of a company that makes flavor extracts. He's having all kinds of problems, both at his company — where a workplace accident has led to problems — and at home, where he is trapped in an unhappy marriage.

"Extract" may have a different perspective than "Office Space," but it shares its sensibilities and is often seen as a companion piece. Written and directed by Mike Judge, it too was a flop at the box office, and though it might not be as big a cult hit as his 1999 classic, it is seen by some as the next best thing to a sequel. As Judge tells it, the film may not appeal to the same crowd of bored office workers, but it definitely takes its aim at a portion of the frustrated working crowd. "There's probably more people in cubicles than owning extract factories," Judge said to the Florida Times-Union during an interview to promote the film. "But I think anybody who has people who work for them, or who are buying a house — I hope it will catch that older group of people."

Some view Silicon Valley as an unofficial sequel too

Those who have followed the work of Mike Judge for years considered "Extract" the spiritual sequel to "Office Space." That is, until the debut of the TV series "Silicon Valley," which, even though it's not a movie, is considered by many to be the true follow-up to the 1999 film about office life. "Office Space" captured the drudgery of '90s office life, one that almost doesn't exist anymore with the way working culture has changed. It's those changes that "Silicon Valley" highlights, and what gives it a unique identity. And because it's written and created by Mike Judge, it often feels like the truest extension of the movie fans have loved for decades.

A critically acclaimed series that premiered in 2014, "Silicon Valley" was called "the 'Office Space' sequel we need" by Vice. The show centers on a group of jaded employees at a southern California tech startup. Praised by critics for its offbeat characters and its ability to poke fun at both technology and corporate investor culture, the series also mines the hum-drum life of an office stooge for plenty of top-notch comedy. Like Judge's beloved film, "Silicon Valley" gives an honest look at business, and it may be the closest thing fans will ever get to a sequel to "Office Space."

Office Space has legions of fans asking for a sequel

It may not boast the same kind of obsessive fandoms as Marvel or "Star Trek," but "Office Space" does have a devoted following that's unusually passionate for a mid-budget workplace comedy. Since the movie was released in 1999, a small subculture of fans have built up a base of support that continues to express their love for the film, many of whom have pointed out just how far ahead of its time it was, and how it helped prepare an entire generation for corporate drudgery.

The film may be a relic of an older time now — with one fan saying, "These days you get all the same bull***, and on top of that there are no cubicles ... and the job doesn't pay near enough for financial security" — but younger generations are still discovering it, and are begging for more. Fans have become so obsessed over the years that actor Stephen Root, who played disgruntled Initech employee Milton, continues to get asked to sign red Swingline staplers. "It doesn't matter what I have done in my career," he said to the Hollywood Reporter, "whenever someone stops me in the street, it's 'Office Space.'"

Whether it's spawning fan sites or launching petitions for a sequel, fans have shown their passion for Judge's film in more ways than one.

Some of the cast returned to do a mini series of commercials

It's been more than 20 years since "Office Space" first debuted, and it may be a longer wait still even if Mike Judge ever does decide to make a sequel. That doesn't mean that fans haven't gotten a taste of what a second film might look like, though. Many in the cast actually got back together for an official "Office Space" mini-sequel of sorts, in the form of a series of Walmart commercials in 2022 to celebrate Black Friday.

Reprising their roles from the film were Gary Cole as pompous boss Bill Lumbergh, Ajay Naidu as uptight programmer Samir Nagheenanajar, Diedrich Bader as country boy neighbor Lawrence, Kinna McInroe as receptionist Nina, and Jennifer Emerson as the temp who thinks everyone has "a case of the Mondays." That wasn't all: even the real Michael Bolton, the two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, got in on the fun, playing himself as a staffer at the new Initech.

Full of fun gags that recalled some of the best moments from the film, the return of the actors in their original roles wasn't always appreciated by fans, who pointed out that, by partnering with mega-corporation Walmart, they were completely going against the entire message of the movie. Plus, without Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, and Stephen Root as Peter, Joanna, and Milton, it didn't quite feel like the movie — though for some it may have been close enough.

How we could still see an Office Space sequel

We have heard from the cast and crew of "Office Space" through the years about the challenges the film has faced to get a sequel made, from coming up with a good idea to getting the cast back together, and even just talking Mike Judge into making it. That doesn't mean that it can't happen, though, and now could be the best time for everyone involved.

Mike Judge has recently returned to two former franchises, bringing back '90s favorites "Beavis & Butthead" and "King of the Hill" and demonstrating that the writer-director can be convinced to return to an old idea under the right circumstances. Culturally, the corporate world seen in "Office Space" isn't entirely dead, either, and the changes we've seen in recent years could be ripe for a new story. Open office layouts, video conferencing, remote work, and more awareness of bad company culture are just some of the topics that could be addressed in a sequel.

Plus, with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, there's now more opportunity for a mid-budget, office comedy to follow up an iconic cult classic. In short, an "Office Space" sequel might be a tough sell for some involved, but there's little doubt it would score well with audiences if the original cast and crew got back together.