What: A fake trailer for Threat Level: Midnight, which looks like it could be the next major action franchise but is most definitely not.
Who: Filmmaker and YouTuber Rajveer Dhanak
Why we care: One of the more interesting aspects of the unseen camera crew on The Office, as Fast Company mentioned recently, is how it grounded the show in a cinéma vérité-style reality that imposed limitations on what the characters could do. (No flashbacks without newly discovered video footage, and no dream sequences whatsoever.) A new video, however, pulls the reality rug out from underneath the show, retrofitting it with the fantasia of special effects.
In the world within the show, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) fancies himself as a creative genius diamond in the rough who simply hasn’t yet been discovered. In season seven, he tried to make his dreams come true by filming the screenplay he long kept hidden in his desk. While the resulting footage in that episode is predictably janky and terrible, filmmaker and YouTuber Rajveer Dhanak cut together scenes from that 2011 episode into a Mission: Impossible-style action movie, and darn it if it doesn’t look like the real deal.
Dhanak pairs footage from The Office with various action movies—most notably the Steve Carell-starring Get Smart, which explains the presence of Anne Hathaway—and does his best to make it all look like one cohesive flick. While the plot is completely incomprehensible, the combination of sky stunts and tense face-offs lend it a sheen of authenticity. And really, how much more discernible is the plot here than the one offered in the trailer for Hobbs & Shaw?
Threat Level: Midnight looks like a movie people might actually watch, even if they wouldn’t spend the same 52 billion minutes watching it as they did watching The Office on Netflix last year.