With Steve Carell's planned exit from NBC's The Office, the hunt for a replacement is on. Supposed front-runners include Eastbound & Down's Danny McBride, Rainn Wilson and Portia de Rossi. But Office producer Paul Lieberstein reportedly really wants Hollywood tough guy Harvey Keitel. Famous for his brass-knuckle roles in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Taxi Driver, Keitel would definitely shake things up. Apparently Lieberstein is so excited about tapping Keitel that he's already envisioned the character's back story. "He's an old salesman who thought he could retire and the stock market went down, and he has to come out of retirement to work for a few years," Lieberstein told E! Online. So far, TV critics love the idea:
- Genius, writes Mandi Bierly at Entertainment Weekly: "Producers are looking for someone with a different energy than Carell, and Keitel definitely has it. He could intimidate Jim and go toe-to-toe with Dwight, take a special interest in Pam that she thinks is borderline sexual harassment until she sees a picture on his desk and he tells her that she reminds him of the daughter who no longer speaks to him."
- Risky But Brilliant, writes Kyle Anderson at MTV: "The idea that Keitel would bring 'a very different energy' than Carell has to be one of the greatest understatements of all time. While it's not entirely certain the show even needs a Carell replacement (the show has such a huge and talented ensemble cast that it would be extremely easy to shift the focus elsewhere), the idea of getting a totally opposite personality is inspiring."
- Just Imagine, urges Rick Porter at Zap2it: "The more we think about Keitel as a boss, the more we like it. It's true that he showed a flair for comedy in 'Life on Mars,' but our minds drifted back a little further to his brief but brilliant role in 'Pulp Fiction.' The idea of "The Office" being run by the man who was Winston Wolfe seems like a pretty good one to us. Take a look":