Now that he's leaving 'The Office' for good, Steve Carell has begun to line up a number of different roles for himself, one of which is an adaptation of Carolyn Parkhurst's debut novel, 'The Dogs of Babel.' The role's a dramatic (literally) departure for the comedic actor, one that has many pundits wondering if this is the actor taking a shot at Oscar gold.

Parkhurst's novel has been hailed as a story "about grieving, self-examination, love, and how complicated people and relationships can be," and the official Amazon editorial review compares it to Alice Slebold's highly touted 'The Lovely Bones.' With praise and comparisons like that, we probably shouldn't be surprised that it's making the jump to the big screen.

The book follows the story of Paul Iverson, a linguistics professor who returns home one day to find his wife dead in their backyard. Police rule her death an accident, but Paul is not quite sure. The only witness to her death is their dog Lorelei. In Paul's grief-stricken search for answers, he endeavors to teach Lorelei to talk in the hopes that he can uncover what happened the day his wife died." You can practically hear the sniffles of viewers already...

Jump past the break for more details about 'The Dogs of Babel.'
Carell will play Paul in the film version, and it's already easy to imagine countless scenes of the actor all dewy-eyed as he struggles to teach Lorelei English. The only concern here is that it might be too obvious even for Oscar voters.

There's been no official word on when shooting might commence, but the producers are looking to land a director in the very near future. Carell's schedule could be a potential hold up on the project, as he has several other comedies on his docket. Given that this is Hollywood and films have a way of shifting around, it feels likely that we'll see 'The Dogs of Babel' sooner rather than later.

For Carell, this is a relatively low-risk move. If 'Dogs' pans out, he joins the ranks of actors like Tom Hanks and Jim Carrey as a performer who can do comedy and drama. If not, he's just another Adam Sandler who can fall back on his comedy career and the multimillion-dollar paychecks that come with making people laugh. It's like gambling with the house's money.

What do you think, dear reader? Can Carell pull this off and become a double threat in Hollywood, or should he stick to being the funnyman and leave the heavy dramas to guys like Daniel Day Lewis?