Is James Spader The New Boss on ‘The Office’?

The veteran actor is in negotiations to join the series in an unexpected way.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Last May, James Spader portrayed Robert California on the season finale of "The Office." California was one of several characters (almost all of whom were played by celebrities) vying to replace Steve Carell's Michael Scott, but it looks like Spader's character may have the inside track.

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Spader is in negotiations to reprise his role as Robert California when "The Office" returns for its eighth season. But in a surprise twist, California is expected to use his new office manager position as a stepping stone to quickly becoming the new CEO of Dunder Mifflin; replacing Kathy Bates' Jo Bennett in the process.

An unidentified source close to the show told Entertainment Weekly “In the finale, [Spader] kicked ass. He was so funny and had this weird energy. We didn’t want to pass it up.”

The story indicates that Bates' departure is happening so that she can focus on the second season of "Harry's Law." Additionally, if negotiations with Spader are successful, his character will be around more often than Bates' former CEO. 

“Dwight has never come up with somebody equally powerful and diabolical," continued the unnamed source. "With Andy, he could be a real father figure and make life really hard for him once he senses he can manipulate him. Jim reads people really quickly, yet wasn’t sure what to make of this guy.”

Of course, this begs a new question: If James Spader isn't playing the new office manager, then who is?

Most of the celebrity guest stars on the season finale have other acting jobs, although Catherine Tate ("Doctor Who") reportedly is still a strong contender for the position.

"The Office" is expected to begin production late next month, so an answer should be coming soon.

Who do you think should be the new manager on "The Office"? Let us know in the comment section below!