A live-action version of the comic strip (and sometimes animated show) Dilbert has been a long time coming. Last time we heard anything was in 2007, when Chris Columbus had bought the rights and was reportedly considering directing the film. Now there’s a report that Phoenix Entertainment is developing a live-action Dilbert.
Pajiba reports that Tariq Jalil is the common thread — he was a producer on the Columbus version and is still producing the property now. He and Phoenix Entertainment have set Ken Kwapis to direct. If the name is familiar you might be a fan of The Office, as he’s directed a dozen episodes of the US version, in addition to episodes of other shows like Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show.
That link from Dilbert to Kwapis to The Office would seem to suggest exactly the sort of adaptation to expect, should this ever go before cameras. Pajiba speculates that John Krasinski could end up being tapped to star, and there’s certainly reason to guess that they’d offer him the part. (There’s also reason to suspect he’d say no to a feature that is so close to The Office, now seemingly a sinking ship.) Kwapis is already set to direct Krasinski in Everybody Loves Whales, with Drew Barrymore.
In addition to his TV work, however, Kwapis has a middling to terrible resume of theatrical features: License to Wed, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Beautician and the Beast, Dunston Checks In. When the best-looking recent movie on the list is The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, there’s reason to wonder if he can bring any subtlety to the office satire of Dilbert. Because if not, why bother? We can just read the original Scott Adams strips.
Dilbert hails from 1989 and continues to run today; it centers on Dilbert and became hugely popular when Adams changed the setting from Dilbert’s home to his micromanaged office.