TOTAL FILM EXCLUSIVE: JJ Abrams directing the US Office

M:i:III director will shoot an episode of Steve Carell’s show

While chatting recently to Mission: Impossible III director JJ Abrams for the release of the DVD, Total Film got talking about other Abrams projects on the go, with the multi-tasking writer/producer admitting that he’s making some time in his schedule to work on a completely different show from current hot potato Lost and his new baby, Six Degrees. The man who brought us Alias is switching gears and helming an episode of The Office, the US show based on Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s much-loved comedy.

“I’m going to direct an episode next year,” he announced. “Ricky and I are friends and I e-mailed him and begged him, ‘Please be on the episode.’ And he replied, ‘Eh… No!’”

It’s even more of a surprise because, like many Stateside viewers, Abrams was definitely not a fan when the show began, thanks to his love of the original. “I resented it before I saw it, because I thought, ‘well, how are you going to do what Ricky and Steve did. In fact, the first season I didn’t get into it at all. In the second season, they really found their voice. And that’s despite having to make 22 episodes, which is twice the length of what the BBC show did. And I thought that the show became brilliant. I was really impressed by how it worked.”

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