Look, I don't doubt that Foxcatcher will be great. Cannes reviews were fantastic, the first trailer looked promising, and the general plot of the movie sounds hugely intriguing. Yet I can't help but be a bit nervous when in the new Foxcatcher teaser trailer released on Thursday, Steve Carell's murderous wrestling coach sounds like he's channeling another great Carell character, Threat Level Midnight's Michael Scarn.
As fans of The Office will recall, semi-retired C.I.A. agent Michael Scarn was the star of Michael Scott's homemade film, an action drama about Scarn's attempt to sabotage the evil plans of Goldenface to blow up the NHL All-Star Game. Although there are many setbacks, including the murder of several hostages (sorry, Toby), the heroic Scarn manages to save the day.
Threat Level Midnight wasn't exactly a feat of filmmaking; the effects were horrible and the acting worse, especially Scott's slow, enunciated "the world asks too much of me yet again, but I will resignedly do it anyway" voice. Unfortunately, this is a very similar voice to the one Steve Carell uses in the new Foxcatcher trailer, and despite his words in the teaser being much less silly, the familiar tone of his voice makes it very hard to take seriously.
But, alas, Foxcatcher is a much more serious film then Threat Level Midnight, and it's probably best that the words of Carell's character, not the sound of his voice, is the main takeaway from the trailer. Still, even those are a bit too close for comfort; Du Point's inspirational speech ("I'm leading men, I am training them, I am teaching them, I am giving them a dream and I am giving America hope") is less Friday Night Lights' Coach Chandler and more, well, Threat Level Midnight's Michael Scarn.
Once the movie hits theaters in November, I'm sure I'll be able to put aside my Office nostalgia and see Foxcatcher for what it is, a dark, dramatic film about murder and betrayal. But for now, I will choose to take pleasure in realizing that Steve Carell's Oscar hopeful film is extraordinarily similar to the one TV's most incompetent boss made on his days off from work.
Check out the new trailer for Foxcatcher below, and, for good measure, re-watch the filmmaking gem that is Threat Level Midnight:
Image: Sony Pictures Classics