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John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, and Tawny Newsome sign on for Steve Carell's Space Force show

Hi, I’m John Malkovich. Welcome to space.
Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff (Getty Images)

Few shows currently in active development seem like more of a product of a brief, semi-serious, “Fuck it, why not?” conversation than Netflix’s new sitcom Space Force, which appears to have been put together solely because Greg Daniels and Steve Carell saw Donald Trump’s dumb plans for a dumb space military agency, then just sort of rolled with the obvious comedic prompt. But while Space Force both is, and is about, what feels like something of a half-formed thought, it’s bringing in some pretty serious talent in order to bring that idea to life.

Variety reports today that Tawny Newsome, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers and, of all people, John Malkovich have all signed on as regulars to the series, which has already received a 10-episode order from the streaming service, largely on the strength of Daniels and Carell’s shared track records. Malkovich (also appearing in the next season of The New Pope) will play the show’s resident science nerd, while Silvers will play Carell’s daughter. Schwartz will be playing a scheming media adviser named F. Tony Scarapiducci (in case you were wondering what level of remove the parody here was operating at) while Newsome will play a helicopter pilot who’s somehow drawn into the scheme. 

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Sadly, we probably won’t get to see John Malkovich floating around in a spacesuit, blasting aliens with lasers, since the series is reportedly mostly about the planet-side efforts to get a military body tweeted into existence on a presidential whim into some kind of working order. Still, if anyone knows how to wring comedy out of a heady mixture of neediness, institutional breakdown, and pure, flying-by-the-seat-of-your-cheap-suit panic, its Daniels and Carell, who spent years working together on NBC’s The Office.

In addition to the new regulars the series also added several recurring players, including Jimmy O. Yang, Don Lake, and Alex Sparrow. It’s not clear yet exactly when the series will go into production.

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