Even though he isn't quite as well known in America as he is in the U.K., Ricky Gervais is one of the biggest names in comedy. Lately, he has had a good string of luck both as producer and actor with Netflix, having had multiple projects find a home there. As it turns out, Netflix seems to love him as well, because they have just closed another deal and it's a big one.
Gervais took to his Twitter to make the announcement today that Netflix had bought the rights to David Brent: Life on the Road, which is based on his character from the original British version of The Office. He also noted that the film will be playing in select theaters in the U.K. come August. Gervais went on the Opie and Anthony radio show to share the news with them, and he had some very kind words for Netflix. Here is what he had to say.
"This is exciting news and this is top secret so I'm gonna say it now. Netflix have bought out the rest of the world again. So everyone's gonna see it. Which is great for me because I'd rather 20 million people see it than half a million people see it in cinemas. Do you know what I mean? Because I want to do tours off the back of it. So for me it's great."
Back on April 7, Gervais released a trailer for the upcoming mockumentary that will see his character from The Office going on the road to perform in a band. The brand of humor from the trailer is right in line with what fans have come to expect from Gervais and more specifically what fans of The Office know and love about the character of David Brent. Life On The Road will likely draw some inspiration from the YouTube videos Gervis did in which he would make instructional guitar videos as Brent.
Netflix has worked with Gervais several times in the past, most recently on the movie Special Correspondents which starred Eric Bana. Though that wasn't particularly well received, he also did his show Derek for Netflix, which was nominated for an Emmy at one point. There is no word on how much Netflix paid for the rights to Life On The Road, but lately they have been dropping some serious money on exclusive movies, so odds are Gervais just got a pretty decent payday.
The original British The Office became a smash, cult TV hit after it was co-created by Gervais and his long time collaborator Stephen Merchant. The show found new life after the American version took off and wound up running for nine seasons, and Steve Carell took up Brent's mantle as Michael Scott for seven seasons, for which he was nominated for several Emmys. No word yet on when David Brent: Life On The Road will hit Netflix, but based on the U.K. cinema run being scheduled for August, we can guess you can expect it around that time.