David Brent will not be the only familiar face in the much-anticipated new film starring Ricky Gervais’ character from The Office: the former Slough paper merchant will be accompanied by his latest unfortunate sidekick Doc Brown.
Brown – real name Ben Bailey Smith, the brother of novelist Zadie Smith – will travel alongside Brent in Life on the Road, Gervais has revealed.
“I have got David Brent’s band [Foregone Conclusion] and I have cast Doc Brown,” Gervais told RadioTimes.com.
“I make him come on the road with me to do some stuff. The idea is that I am probably holding him back because he’s actually got a chance of making it as a musician but he’s with this 50-year-old rep called David Brent.”
The movie, which is being made by BBC Films, will see Brent on the big screen more than a decade after The Office ended on BBC2. It will be a spoof rock documentary following the paper merchant-turned-travelling salesman’s last-ditch attempt to be a rock star.
“He thinks it’ll be like Scorsese doing the Rolling Stones, but we’ll show the full horror. He’s had to take two weeks off work and cash in his pension, because the session musicians in the band are costing him more than he’s getting in ticket sales.”
In the past Brown has supported Gervais on his tours and also appeared in his sitcom Derek as paranoid community service worker Deon. The pair also they wrote Equality Street together, a spoof reggae song in which Brent sings about racial harmony and inadvertently ends up being horrendously patronising. The song raised money for Comic Relief in 2013.
“Brent is one of those people who walks into a room and shouts I am not a racist,” adds Gervais with a chuckle.
But he will almost certainly not be casting Office favourites such as Mackenzie Crook’s Gareth or Sherlock star Martin Freeman’s Tim because it wouldn’t be realistic: “What kind of people stay in an office for 15 years? What documentary crew would be in the same office after 15 years?”
Gervais has already showcased some of the film’s songs in online releases and in the tour he performed with Brent’s band Foregone Conclusion – the former office manager’s unprofitable sideline. His day job is selling urinal lozenges.
These include numbers such as Slough – an ode to Brent’s home town – and Lady Gypsy, in which he remembers a formative sexual encounter.
However, the film will also feature some new tracks. “One has Brent singing about the plight of the Native American Indian. As you can imagine he got his information off Wikipedia and it’s horrendously pompous and wrong and accidentally insulting. Another is called Don’t Cry it’s Christmas, it’s Brent’s Christmas song. It’s a song about an orphan he knew.”
Work has already begun on the film, which will be shot at the end of this year, Gervais confirmed.