“The Office” ended its seventh season with a litany of guest stars applying to replace Steve Carell’s departed Michael Scott after Will Ferrell exited his four-episode arc: Jim Carrey, Will Arnett, Catherine Tate, Ricky Gervais, and James Spader. Of those, Spader played the most interesting and realistic character, so it’s good to hear that he’s in talks to join the show as a full-time cast member, first as the Dunder-Mifflin manager, then as a replacement for Kathy Bates, who will leave the show to focus on “Harry’s Law.”
Whereas Bates functioned more like a guest star in the series, however, Spader would have a significant weekly presence on the show. The actor’s deal is not done and no scripts have been written for the upcoming eighth season, which goes into production in about a month. Yet if all goes according to plan, Spader’s character — named “Robert California” — will be introduced in the premiere as the new Office manager. He quickly decides the role is too small for him, and somehow talks corporate into appointing him as its new CEO.
Sources say California will have a strong impact on the rest of the Office staff, demonstrating a manipulative power and a somewhat creepy sexual vibe. [EW]
That last part isn’t exactly necessary. It’s like saying that Halle Berry’s going to play an attractive person. “Manipulative power and creepy sexual vibe” is what Spader brings to every role, which is precisely what makes him so great. It’s practically his middle name. James Manipulative Sexy Creep Spader.