Is ‘Community: The Movie’ Finally Happening?

Community: The Movie

One of the most beloved TV comedies, Community, is making a return! However, this time around, it’s coming back as a movie, appropriately titled Community: The Movie.

The upcoming film is still in its development stages, so many of the details remain unclear. The months-long strikes in Hollywood in 2023 also cast doubt on whether plans to film Community: The Movie would push through. Fortunately, several of the show’s stars are set on bringing the movie to life.

Here’s what we know so far about Community: The Movie.

Will There Be a Community: The Movie?

According to star Joel McHale, Community: The Movie is still set to film in Atlanta, Georgia. McHale told Deadline that he’s confident filming will happen following the months-long delays caused by the writers’ and actors’ strikes.

“I really do think it’s happening this year, and probably next week. It’s basically working around Donald’s schedule,” said McHale.

Community: The Movie Will Be on Peacock

NBC’s streaming platform Peacock, confirmed that Community will be getting its movie treatment in a joint announcement with Sony Pictures TV in September 2022. The streaming platform described the negotiations to secure the movie as “heavily competitive.”

Not only will the show get a movie of its own, but it will also start many of its original cast members. The announcement also fulfilled one of the show’s long-running jokes that Community would run for “six seasons and a movie.”

Under the deal, Peacock also acquired non-exclusive rights to all six seasons, which can also be streamed on Netflix and Hulu.

The show premiered in 2009 and follows a study group at Greendale Community College. Community ran for five seasons before it was initially canceled in 2014. However, the show was picked up again for one more season on Yahoo!Screen. The streaming service shut down less than a year after the show aired its final episode in June 2015.

McHale previously teased that fans could see a Community movie sometime in the future.

“Dan Harmon has to write it. And writing a movie script takes a while,” McHale told HuffPostLive in June 2015. “It’s not necessarily an easy thing. So he has to write it, then we’ll get around to it.”

Harmon is co-writing the script for Community: The Movie with Andrew Guest, who also wrote for the show and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. McHale is also serving as producer alongside Harmon, Guest, Russ Krasnoff, and Gary Foster.

What Story Will the Film Tell?

There’s no official synopsis yet for Community: The Movie. But in February 2024, Donald Glover told The Hollywood Reporter that he has some idea of what the movie will be about. Glover revealed that the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, told him what he wanted for the script.

“I was like, ‘This sounds great.’ It’s a college reunion, but Abed is like this big director now. And basically this is his magnum opus. I’m like, ‘This sounds f***ing tight.’”

Harmon confirmed Glover’s comments in the same month in an interview with Variety.

“But I will also say Donald’s sources are so unreliable because the script is always ‘almost done,’” said Harmon, who also teased the plot. “What I can tell you about it is that it’s set on the campus of Greendale Community College. I’m super excited about it, and we’re almost done.”

Harmon also shared his writing process on the script for the film, adding that while he’s excited about the project, he would get emotional.

“I’ve been having kind of a nervous breakdown the last couple of months just by working on it, and that’s a good thing because I’m having all kinds of flashbacks to 2009. It’s gonna be awesome,” said Harmon. “I’m like, ‘Why am I crying about these characters?’”


Who Is Returning for the Movie?

At the time of the film’s announcement, Joel McHale was revealed to be reprising his role as Jeff Winger. Alongside McHale are Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, Alison Brie as Annie Edison, Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, Jim Rash as Dean Craig Pelton, and Ken Jeong as Ben Chang.

In January 2024, Donald Glover confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Tonight that he is reprising his role as Troy Barnes.

“It’s really just a schedule thing. I’m in. I’m all in,” said Glover.

Jeong also hinted that Yvette Nicole Brown may also be coming back as Shirley Bennett for Community: The Movie. It’s unclear whether John Oliver, Jonathan Banks, and Paget Brewster will reprise their roles as Professor Ian Duncan, Professor Buzz Hickey, and Frankie Dart respectively.

One cast member who is unlikely to reprise his role in Community: The Movie is Chevy Chase. Chase, who played Pierce Hawthorne, was killed off during the fifth season. The actor left the show in 2012 after he allegedly used a racial slur on set. While Chase claimed to have apologized at the time, Glover said in 2018 that Chase made several racially insensitive jokes toward him while filming.

In 2023, Chase criticized the show for not being funny enough.

“I felt a bit constrained. Everybody had their bits, and I thought they were all good. It just wasn’t hard-hitting enough for me,” said the actor.

Community star Chevy Chase at NBC Universal's Winter 2010 Press Tour
Photo Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency

What to Expect from the Movie

While there is an idea of what Community: The Movie will be about, the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, shared what not to expect. One such example was the famous paintball fights.

“You’re running around with guns in a school, which was never a good idea on TV even back then,” said Harmon during a December 2022 episode of the Six Seasons and a Podcast podcast.

Harmon also said that the movie will not follow a similar plot to Community’s final season. In the sixth and final season, the study group returned to Greendale to help save the school.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Harmon shared how the Community fanbase has been the most supportive. This was also in reference to his feud with Chase,

The fanbase “has been the most supportive of me, all told, and has endured the most for supporting me,” said Harmon. “Because I wasn’t thinking about them when I was feuding with Chevy. Only later did I realize that I’d hurt these people who didn’t want to think about me as some kind of odd, self-styled Kubrick. They cared about Greendale, this world that I created, and suddenly, they were getting this unadulterated side order of me, which was not fair to them.”

Harmon also shared how he felt once Peacock ordered the movie treatment for Community. The show’s creator said he hates to say how terrified he is to do it wrong because there’s a part of him that knows that that fear cannot possibly result in a good thing.

Community: The Movie Release Date Speculation and News

There’s no official release date yet for Community: The Movie. Like most productions in 2023, they were originally eyeing a 2024 release.  But, they were met with delays because of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.

However, a recent production update lists Community: The Movie as being in active development. Filming is expected to take place in Atlanta sometime this year.

Community: The Movie will head straight to Peacock upon release. For now, fans can rewatch
all six seasons of the show on Peacock, Netflix, and Hulu. We’ll keep you posted as more details are announced!


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