The greatest 'Office' opening that never was: Rainn Wilson on why elaborate 'Matrix' sequence was cut from show

Kevin Polowy
·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·2 min read

Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming platform, celebrated New Year’s Day with a nice surprise for The Office’s fervent fanbase, unveiling a never-seen-before cold open that was cut from the 2013 series finale. The five-minute clip, in which Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) pull off their most elaborate prank on Dwight (Rainn Wilson) — hiring 30 people and casting security guard Hank (the late Hugh Dane) as “Dorpheus” to convince their newly appointed regional manager and longtime work nemesis that he’s living in The Matrix.

The sequence was immediately hailed on social media as one of the beloved show’s best cold opens ever.

Wilson, 55, agreed with that sentiment in a recent interview with Yahoo Entertainment promoting his new thriller, Don’t Tell a Soul (watch above).

“It was just one of those great cold opens, they worked really hard on it,” he said. “I thought it was just fantastic. I thought it was one of the all-time greats. I am glad that that’s getting out, because that is truly one of the all-time 10 great pranks and cold opens from The Office and it deserves to be seen by fans.”

But Wilson was unsurprised it was ultimately cut.

“I kind of knew it wouldn’t make the show. I was like, ‘This is 10 minutes long and it’s a cold open. How is this possibly going to work?’

Office episodes are 21 minutes and 30 or 40 seconds long. It’s really short. It’s super-hard to compact an ‘A’ plot and a ‘B’ plot into 21 minutes and 40 seconds. So stuff is left on the cutting room floor all the time. But I’m glad this one saw the light of day.”

Don’t Tell a Soul is now playing on video on demand; The Office is now streaming on Peacock.

Watch Rainn Willson talk about overcoming claustrophobia to shoot most of Don’t Tell a Soul from the bottom of a well:

—Videos produced by Jon San and edited by Ras Guevara.

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