An Australian version of the classic sitcom ‘The Office’ is in the works at Prime Video but with a gender-flipped lead character. Comedian and actor Felicity Ward will headline the Australian show, a joint production between Prime Video, BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand, and Bunya Entertainment. ‘The Office’ first started in the United Kingdom with actor Ricky Gervais playing David Brent, the head of the Slough branch of the fictional Wernham Hogg paper company. It ran for two seasons from 2001 to 2003.
The sitcom’s American version, which saw actor Steve Carrell as Michael Scott, became much more popular during its run on NBC from 2005 to 2013. In the Australian take, Ward will essay the role of Hannah Howard, the managing director of the packaging company Flinley Craddick.
“When she gets news from Head Office that they will be shutting down her branch and making everyone work from home, she goes into survival mode, making promises she can’t keep in order to keep her ‘work family’ together. The staff of Flinley Craddick indulge her and must endure Hannah’s outlandish plots as they work toward the impossible targets that have been set for them,” the official plotline reads.
Gervais, co-creator, co-writer and star of ‘The Office’, said that he is excited about Australia remaking the sitcom. “Office politics have changed a bit in 20 years, so can’t wait to see how they navigate a modern-day David Brent,” he added.
The Australian version will be the 13th adaptation of the series after similar shows in France, Canada, Chile, Israel, India, the Middle East, and Poland. Production on the eight-part Australian Amazon Original series will start in Sydney later this month with filming to take place over eight weeks. The show will also feature Edith Poor, Steen Raskopoulos, Shari Sebbens, Josh Thomson, Jonny Brugh, Pallavi Sharda, Susan Ling Young, Raj Labade, Lucy Schmit, and Firass Dirani.