EXCLUSIVE: After nine years on The Office, series star Jenna Fischer is venturing into theater, making her stage debut with a starring role in the off-Broadway production of Neil LaBute‘s new play Reasons To Be Happy. Fischer will segue from the Emmy-winning NBC series, which wraps production Friday on its ninth and final season, to Reasons To Be Happy at the MCC Theater. A follow-up to LaBute’s Tony-nominated Reasons To Be Pretty, Reasons To Be Happy features the same characters three years later. After a contentious break-up, Steph (Fischer) and Greg are wondering if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she’s married to someone else and he’s just embarked on a relationship with Steph’s best friend. Alison Pill played the Steph role in Reasons To Be Pretty, which also originated at the MCC Theater before moving to Broadway. Previews for Reasons To Be Happy begin at the MCC Lucille Lortel Theater on May 16, the same night The Office finale airs on NBC. The play opens June 11.
EXCLUSIVE: All is well when it ends well. I’ve learned that after lengthy negotiations, The Office stars Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer have reached an agreement in principal to return to the veteran NBC series next season and are inches away from signing on the dotted line. I hear the fourth original Office cast member whose deal is up, B.J. Novak, has not started discussions, but he has a dual role on the series as an actor and writer/executive producer.
Jenna Fischer will star in The Giant Mechanical Man, which she will also produce alongside Molly Hassell, Michael Nardelli and Brent Stiefel. Written and directed by Lee Kirk, the film also stars Topher Grace, Chris Messina and Malin Akerman. It’s a romantic comedy about a misunderstood street performer and the zoo worker who falls for him. New Films has acquired worldwide rights to writer-director Christopher B. Landon’s Burning Palms. The film stars Zoe Saldana, Dylan McDermott, Lake Bell, Paz Vega and Rosamund Pike and is a dark comedy featuring five stories set in different Los Angeles neighborhoods … Warner Bros UK has acquired all UK rights to ContentFilm’s medieval action thriller Ironclad. Directed by Jonathan English, the film, about a crew of tough battle warriors who withstood brutal months under siege from King John, stars Paul Giamatti, James Purefoy and Brian Cox … The Media Development Authority of Singapore has teamed with CJ Entertainment, Bang Singapore and Asia Media & Technology Capital (AMTC) for a $50 million slate of films to be produced out of Singapore over five years.
A decade after their short runs, Judd Apatow’s cult series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are getting another shot on IFC. The cable channel has acquired all 18 produced episodes of the NBC dramedy, created by Paul Feig and produced by Apatow, and all 17 segments of the Fox comedy, created and produced by Apatow, from Paramount Pictures, which holds the rights to the two DreamWorks TV series. Freaks and Geeks premieres this Friday, while Undeclared will debut in the fall featuring a previously unaired episode. The two series helped break a slew of young talent, including Jay Baruchel, Jenna Fischer, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.