Although he’s more famous for creating such iconic animated television sitcoms as Beavis and Butt-Head and the long-running King of the Hill, filmmaker Mike Judge does have one cinematic treasure to his name — Office Space.
Having mastered the eccentricities of the workplace in that 1999 comedy classic, Judge may soon satisfy those who’ve craved for his return to skewering office dynamics ever since. Admittedly, his new film, Extract, should’ve been made a lot sooner.
“I started writing (Extract) shortly after Office Space,” said Judge during a recent interview in Los Angeles. “I started writing it, got 50 pages in and (the scriptwriting) software I was using got corrupted and froze up including the version I saved … by the time I opened it up, I was like, ‘Nah, screw it.’”
Ten years later, the comedy starring Jason Bateman as a bewildered owner of a floundering flavouring factory is set for release this Friday. Being described as a “blue collar” rendition of Office Space, in the film Judge again captures the hilarious authenticity of the working environment.
“I had so many jobs and I just think there’s a lot of material there,” said Judge about his interest in the workplace setting. “I just find this stuff kind of interesting and funny and not a lot of people are doing it.”
But part of the success of Office Space (and perhaps Extract) was also the adoption of certain lines and iconic moments into the zeitgeist. Mention such things as the “O-face” or “Milton’s red stapler” to anyone who’s seen the 1999 cult hit and those gags have a whole new pop-cultural understanding.
“At the premiere, (a friend) picked the oddest line that I don’t think anyone even laughed at,” said Judge about which moments in Extract could find their way into the zeitgeist.
“You don’t plan those things; when you plan them, they don’t work so you just write the thing and those quotable lines – that’s up to the audience and they find them. I just hope they do that with this one.”