While he’s melted our hearts for nearly seven seasons on The Office, Big Tuna has failed to make a huge splash on the big screen. Strange, huh, especially given the immense likability of Jim Halpert. (“Niagara” will forever live in infamy. How many men booked surprise trips on the Maid of the Mist after seeing their girlfriends tear up while watching the episode?) With Steve Carell’s impending departure, it seems there’s no better time for John Krasinski to seal his fate as a legitimate leading man. But why isn’t he one already?
Krasinki’s reps have confirmed to EW that The Office star is in talks to join the upcoming indie Nobody Walks, which circles around an artist who disrupts the daily routine of an L.A. family. The film is co-written by Tiny Furniture breakout star (and A+ tweeter) Lena Dunham, with indie darling Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness) and Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married, United States of Tara) also in talks to star. Krasinski already perfected cute bohemian shag in Away We Go in a leading role opposite Maya Rudolph, and the names above are the exact ingredients for one hearty serving of awesomesauce. Despite his success with The Office, Krasinski has largely been relegated to supporting roles in big-name projects like 2009’s It’s Complicated, or the upcoming Something Borrowed (yet even a brief sighting of his puppy dog eyes in the trailer was enough to make both my roommates mark May 6’s opening night on their calendars). At 31, he’s already had a foray in directing, with longstanding pet project Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, an adaptation of late author David Foster Wallace’s short story collection — he reportedly bought the rights with his first paycheck from The Office — yet even a Sundance premiere and all-star roster couldn’t help the lukewarm reviews.
So what gives? Is it Krasinski or is it the Hollywood machine? We love him on television, and as his Brown University diploma will attest, he’s clearly no dummy. We’re not asking for studios to make him into the next action hero (down, Ryan Reynolds), but shouldn’t he be nabbing some smart, fun, romantic comedies by now? Even Oscar winner George Clooney took a few years to shake the dust of Dr. Doug Ross off his back — could this quirky sounding Nobody Walks be the answer, or just another Leatherheads? Until then, maybe he should start taking career advice from wife Emily Blunt.