Gandolfini is a three-time Primetime Emmy Award winner as well as a Golden Globe winner. He won these honors for his six-season role as Tony in The Sopranos. While Tony Soprano will be remembered forever, James Gandolfini was far closer to playing another iconic TV role than many people believe. The role was none other than that of the man and the legend- Michael Scott.
Somehow this sounds surreal, right? Well, it could have happened if HBO had not stepped in. After Steve Carell left the NBC show in 2011, Gandolfini was reportedly invited to take over Michael Scott’s role as Dunder Mifflin Scranton’s branch manager.
Would he have furthered the legacy of Michael Scott legacy or should we thank HBO for stepping in?
So Why did Gandolfini turn down the role?
For seven seasons, Steve Carell played Michael Scott, Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office. Following his departure from the show, the writer sought to keep things running by introducing other characters to take his place. Spader played Robert California, the CEO of Dunder Mifflin/Sabre, for a little period.
“Talking Sopranos” revealed this interesting information on Monday’s edition. Two of soprano’s actors – Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa, co-host this podcast. In 2011, the “Sopranos” actor was reportedly given the part of Michael Scott’s successor on “The Office”. HBO, on the other hand, offered Gandolfini $3 million in exchange for declining the role. Schirripa shared this tidbit during a Monday interview with Ricky Gervais, of the U.K. version of “The Office” fame.
“I believe they offered Jim $4 million to play him for a season. This was before James Spader and after Carell. And HBO paid him $3 million not to do it. That’s a fact,” said Schirripa. He starred as Tony Soprano’s brother-in-law Bobby Baccalieri in The sopranos.
This was about four years since the finale of “The Sopranos”. And, Schirripa claims that “Jim was going to do it since he hadn’t worked in a long time”. Gervais wonders if HBO’s decision was due to its desire to “keep the legacy of ‘The Sopranos’ pure.”
Schirripa said that Gandolfini was also working on the HBO miniseries “The Night Of”. “I presume that he had an arrangement with them”. Before his death in 2013, Gandolfini had agreed to appear in the series. But the directors honored him with a posthumous executive producer credit.
On October 1, a soprano’s sequel film will release in cinemas and on HBO Max at the same time. It will feature Michael Gandolfini, Gandolfini’s son, as a young Tony Soprano in the film “The Many Saints of Newark.”
Also Read: Times Michael Scott Was Genuinely a Good Boss.