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The Ringer’s Oral History of ‘Office Space’

February 19, 2019

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The Ringer’s Oral History of ‘Office Space’

For the 20 year anniversary of Office Space, the Ringer compiled this great piece.

If you’re an Office Space fan, this a must read. Most of it is how spot on Mike Judge was during the creation and his constant battles against higher ups to fulfill his vision.

Some highlights:

The Studio pushed hard for Ben Affleck (and Matt Damon) to play the part of Peter Gibbons – Judge felt that a ‘movie star’ wasn’t right for Peter, and particularly not a ‘strapping, tall, lead-man type‘. Ultimately Affleck wasn’t that interested and asked for too much money anyway, so they went with Ron Livingston, who Judge knew was perfect right away. He compromised by getting a star for the lead female role in Jennifer Aniston.

The Studio wanted the gangster rap OUT of the film and Mike Judge refused to back down – Judge says the studio hated the Geto Boys songs in the soundtrack because it made the movie too dark and angry. Judge said that was the whole point. They agreed to let a focus group of mostly 18-25 year olds who watched a screening be the judges and they unanimously agreed the music was the perfect accent to the group.

Mike Judge came up with the elongated Lumbergh ‘yeaaahhhhhs’ during the shoot – One of the most iconic parts are the constant long-yeahs. Imagine the movie without those! What would Bill Lumbergh be without the ‘yeaaahhhhhhs’??

Drew’s ‘O-face’ line was almost replaced with ‘going to give you a ride on the bone roller coaster’ – I’d imagine that would be just as quotable today as the O-face line

Owen Wilson was a top choice for Lawrence – They said he was up and coming at the time but personally I can’t picture him in the part.

It was a box office flop – I knew this already, but they make a good point of ‘how the fuck do we market this movie?‘. I don’t know what commercial or ad would make this seem appealing. They even struggled with the movie cover. Everyone hated the guy covered in post-its but they didn’t have anything better.

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