The Office: James Gandolfini Refused The Series’ Million-Dollar Proposal

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The Office: Steve Carell left the cast of The Office after season 7 but is still synonymous with Michael Scott. The show brought in big names such as Will Ferrell, James Spader and Kathy Bates in the following seasons, but failed to recruit Soprano star James Gandolfini – and it came close.

The deal, which took place in the past, was revealed during a conversation with Ricky Gervais in the latest episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast. Hosts Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa have revealed that Gandolfini was paid $4 million to star in The Office as Carell’s replacement. But HBO didn’t.

According to the podcast, Gandolfini received $4 million to star in one season as the show’s new boss: “You know, they talked about having Gandolfini at one point replace him [Steve Carell], did you know that?” said Imperioli.

Even though the proposal came several years after the Soprano Family ended, HBO offered Gandolfini $3 million to decline the offer. So the actor turned down the invitation, raised $3 million in the lawsuit, and The Office went the other way.

What would The Office be like with Gandolfini?

Matt Aguilar, from the American website Comicbook, exercised his imagination on what a season of The Office led by Gandolfini would be like. For him, the series would end with Andy Bernard becoming the new boss for a while, before Dwight finally took over as the new boss — fulfilling the character’s dream throughout the series.

As for the Soprano Family, so far, the series has avoided spin-offs and sequels. But the series has scheduled a new movie that focuses on its universe: Gandolfini’s Tony Soprano’s early years. The project is titled The Many Saints of Newark and is due to hit HBO Max and theaters on October 1st.

Would you like to have seen Gandolfini in The Office? Episodes of the American version of the series are available on Amazon Prime Video.