'Steve Coogan's done it, I will too'
Ricky Gervias has dropped a serious hint that David Brent might be due yet another comeback, this time in cinemas, as a David Brent movie, in which the ex-Manager-cum-sales rep tries to break into the music business following his collaboration with Doc Brown.
Gervias plans to pop Brent on the big screen
The Hollywood Reporter have the comedian on the front cover of their latest issue, whereby Gervias strikes a ridiculous pose, smoking a cigar lit by cash. To them, he divulges plans for the movie, and his ostentatious – if not a little bit funny – cover photo implies the motivation behind it.
Of course, it’s a terrible idea. Gervais created one of Britain’s most-loved characters in David Brent. The Office was an ingenious, influential, poignant and sometimes heart-breaking sitcom. It came back for two excellent Christmas specials, then seemingly left forever; it’s head held high amidst a sea of inferior comedies.
He couldn’t keep away for long. The excellent Extras followed The Office; it felt like a continuation of Brent’s character; wiser, more self-aware. Indeed, the moment where he tells his ‘mate’ Finchy to “F*** off” was the death of Brent – a brilliant moment of clarity – but this self-realisation spelled the end of his comedic value as a character. Now he operates on a different spectrum, he mixes with different crowds. Hollywood movies and shows like Life’s Too Short propelled his awkward, previously subtle style of comedy into a new realm, albeit a most unwelcome one.
Ricky at the Netflix premiere for Orange is The New Black
Gervais mistook popularity for quality, and, under the guise of Red Nose Day, brought one-time hero David Brent back to our screens with Doc Brown as he shamelessly trilled over Equality Street. Then came ‘Learn Guitar with David Brent’ – a charity stunt that turned into a fully-fledged YouTube channel. It wasn’t bad, but then again, it wasn’t that good either.
Instead of looking to the past, like he’s doing with Brent, Gervias should be looking to the future, like he’s done with the controversial show, Derek, which will be arriving on Netflix next month. “I chose Netflix for a load of reasons, I think they are the future, they are already the present ,” says Gervais. “The family conciseness thing of a family having to sit down and watch a program at nine o’clock on a Thursday is gone. Derek went on in the U.K. and doubled its viewers the next day on On Demand. I don’t care where they watch it, I don’t care where or when they watch it, or how, as long as they watch it.”
Ricky Gervais and his long-time partner Jane Fallon
Free from the shackles of studios, Gervais is a marketing tool in his own right; with around five million followers on Twitter, he can access his own audience, alerting them to his latest work, or future projects. But it’s worth remembering that, under the stewardship of The BBC, he created his best work to date.
"As you get older, you start realizing that when you're young, the most important thing is being popular. Then when you hit adolescence, it's being clever. Then it's being funny. And now it's about kindness, and that trumps everything else," he told THR. Please, Mr. Gervias, be kind, leave Brent to rest in peace.