Now that we know the ninth season of The Office will be the last, the road is clear for Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) to leave Dunder Mifflin for his spinoff series, tentatively titled The Farm, coming in 2013. The roles of Dwight's sister and nephew recently went to Majandra Delfino and Blake Garrett respectively and now, two more family members have been cast.
First, Deadline reports veteran actor and Die Hard 2 star Tom Bower has landed the role of Dwight's great uncle Heinrich, a charming but greedy and manipulative man who may have been forced to spend some time in Argentina following World War II because of his roots in the National Socialist German Workers' Party (yes, that's the Nazi Party). Second, THR has word that Matt Jones (Breaking Bad) will play Dwight's mysterious cousin Zeke.
The two join a growing cast that also includes Thomas Middleditch as Dwight's brother in the new series that centers on Dwight and his siblings inheriting their family’s beet farm, a farm which also doubles as a bed and breakfast. Many of the characters in the spinoff may be introduced in the upcoming ninth and final season of The Office as a way to lead viewers into Dwight's next adventure.
With the addition of these two actors, all the roles in The Farm pilot we learned about last month have now been filled. However, there hasn't been any word as to whether Schrute Farms regular, Dwight's weirdo cousin Mose (played by The Office co-executive producer Michael Schur), is going to show up at all. It would be a shame if he didn't at least pop up in the pilot and maybe run away when the rest of the family arrives. Then again, if Schur doesn't reprise his role for the series, they could explain him away in the ninth season of The Office.
NBC is hoping The Farm will fill a void left by the conclusion of The Office, and with showrunner Paul Lieberstein (who also plays Toby on The Office) taking on the series as his new full-time job, maybe it will have some of the magic that the earlier seasons of the mockumentary comedy series had. However, we're not sure if the show will employ the same documentary shooting style, or if it will appear as a more traditional comedy series.
Frankly, I'm not thrilled with this spinoff series and wish Rainn Wilson would just move on to bigger and better things. He's shown promise in lower key films like Super and Hesher (even if his leading role in The Rocker didn't really take off), and I think it's time to leave Dwight Schrute behind. Obviously leading (and producing) a comedy series is a step up for the actor, but I think Dwight only works in small doses as a supporting character. Perhaps the integration of his peculiar family (most of whom have previous TV comedy experience) will make this work, but I'm still skeptical for the time being.
If picked up for a series, The Farm will debute on NBC sometime in 2013. Stay tuned.