Even though it’s been seven years since the show ended, there was a sense that it wasn’t too late for the Community movie to happen – and, sure enough, …And A Movie has now been confirmed. With so much time having gone by since the show ended and everyone having moved on to new projects since, the Community movie could’ve ended up dead in the water. Many kept their fingers crossed, though, and September 2022 saw Peacock announce that the Community movie had been greenlit. The gap between the 2015 cancelation and now has meant that, far from being too late, the timing for a Community movie has never been better.
The initial justification for the Community movie stems from season 2, episode 21, “Paradigms of Human Memory,” where Abed used the phrase “six seasons and a movie” in support of the short-lived superhero show The Cape. The entire phrase was just a joke about how unpopular The Cape was, but from Community season 3 onward, the phrase was used repeatedly both in and out of Community to show support for the series as it constantly risked cancelation. When Community ended after six seasons, there was naturally a call for a movie to be made. As far as the fanbase was concerned, the prophecy had to be fulfilled — a fact alluded to by the eventual title of the Community movie, ….And A Movie.
It’s taken an incredibly long time for a Community movie to happen, but at no point was it off the cards. Rumors always seemed to put the Community movie on the precipice of being announced, which is part of the reason the wait felt so long. The majority of the cast have been incredibly enthusiastic about it through the seven missing years too, and show creator Dan Harmon never abandoned Community in interviews despite the mega-success of his other brainchild Rick & Morty. Various outside factors like scheduling and scripting had repeatedly impeded the process, but since the cast, creator, and fans have all been keen to see Community return throughout the delays, …And A Movie has always been, in some ways, inevitable.
There are a variety of reasons why the Community movie took so long despite its much-loved status. For starters, Community was very much a cult hit that garnered a dedicated fanbase despite a lack of general popularity. The entire reason that “six seasons and a movie” caught on was to show support for the series as it teetered on the brink of cancelation with lower and lower numbers every season, with season 4 being considered so bad that the poor quality had to be blamed on an in-universe gas leak. Even if there was support for a movie, especially after Community succeeded in getting a sixth season, the fact of the matter was that Dan Harmon’s Community wasn’t doing well from a technical standpoint, so there was probably the idea that a movie wouldn’t pull in the numbers needed to be worth the investment.
There have also been scheduling and creative conflicts among the cast and crew which have impeded the process. Yvette Nicole Brown left after season 5 to take care of her father, for example, and Donald Glover notably left the show in season 5 to work on projects that offered him more independence as he worked through personal issues (via Hypable), which eventually led to him creating Atlanta. Alison Brie also started acting in the Netflix series GLOW, and Danny Pudi has been busy with both DuckTales and Apple TV+ show Mythic Quest. Most importantly, Dan Harmon himself had trouble getting a script together, with Harmon saying that his problems with the script were “philosophical” in that he needed to figure out if he could make the movie approachable to anyone who hadn’t seen the show (via Vulture).
Even with all the logistical problems that have plagued the Community movie, the idea of …And A Movie is still exciting. With virtually everyone in the main cast, bar Chevy Chase, having expressed interest in returning for a Community movie, there’s the inherent interest in seeing all the principal cast members together again after the later seasons saw more and more of them leaving. Donald Glover previously showing interest especially helps with that too, because many people believe that Community season 5 and season 6 suffered from his lack of involvement. So, Troy being in the movie could help elevate the film to the level of quality Community had at its peak. Joe Russo has also said that he and Anthony Russo would be willing to direct if their schedules would permit (via Collider). In addition to their work with Marvel on Captain America: Civil War and the latest Avengers films, the Russo brothers were behind many iconic episodes of the show such as “Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism” and the two-part paintball war that was the Community season 2 finale. The idea of one or both of Community‘s Russo brothers returning for the movie could add a lot to …And A Movie.
There’s also the inherent excitement that from Community getting a movie. For years, both during the show’s run, and after it ultimately ended, people have been pushing for a film to cap off the series. The Community fanbase is perhaps larger now than it was when it aired. It’s incredibly bingeable, and the transition to streaming platforms has significantly helped it maintain a healthy following. …And A Movie will be providing a payoff for a fan campaign that’s been going on for years. Fan campaigns succeeding in getting something done are extremely rare, so the fact this has happened with Community makes the prospect of a movie all the more rewarding.
Prior to the official announcement for …And A Movie, the Community cast were all pretty adamant that Abed’s property would be fulfilled. Various cast members made comments about the possibility of a feature film based on the popular television series, among them being Alison Brie and Joel McHale. The entire cast and creator Dan Harmon had a lot to say about their experiences on the series during a reunion table read back in 2020, and even they were talking back and forth about the possibility of a movie. During the reunion, Donald Glover expressed that if a movie were to happen, he would happily come back to reprise his role as Troy. However, McHale has also suggested in various interviews that with Donald Glover’s career after Community revolving around his rap career and his series Atlanta, he might be too busy to rejoin the cast.
In August 2022, a month prior to the official confirmation, Alison Brie also opened up about the Community feature film, giving some words of hope to those who are patiently awaiting the movie’s official announcement. She appeared on the WrapWomen podcast “Unwrapped” and revealed that official discussions were finally happening for the movie. Brie spilled the following beans on the soon-to-be-announced Community movie:
You know what, I’ll say it. There’s been movement. There’s been some talks. People are talking and certain things — wheels are turning. I said it! I’m saying there are legitimate conversations that are happening. Whether or not they will ever turn into an actual movie — I would love it if they did, and I hope that they do. But the fact alone that actual real conversations are happening is I think the most progress we’ve ever made on that front.
Community‘s Joel McHale also had some things to say, though his update wasn’t quite as hopeful as his costar’s. The actor talked about the possibility of a Community movie in an interview with ComicBook, and while he was optimistic, he admitted that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to making a feature film. McHale said, “Before when I’d answer the question, I’d be like, ‘Maybe, I have no idea.’ But now, with its success on the streamers during the pandemic, the interest has returned. I would say it’s more likely than it was before, definitely.” Obviously, it turns out that McHale’s guardedness and hesitancy to be quite as forward as Brie is a testament to how uncertain the Community movie was behind the scenes even when the public confirmation was imminent.
…And A Movie Is Happening On Peacock
In September 2022, Peacock and Sony Pictures TV announced that the Community movie had been greenlit under the title …And A Movie. After his Community season 3 firing and return, Dan Harmon is once more at the helm alongside Andrew Guest. Most of the original main cast is confirmed to be returning or strongly thought to be, including Tony McHale, who is also attached as an executive producer. There’s no news on whether Donald Glover will return after his season 5 exit, however, despite his previous enthusiasm to return for a Community movie in interviews. There’s also not yet been word on Yvette Cole Brown, who also departed in the fifth season (but returned for the season 6 finale), and there’s also no longer a release window.
One confirmed factor about the Community movie is that …And A Movie will be a Peacock exclusive. Dan Harmon has been keen to keep fans’ expectations grounded, however. The confirmation is just that — a confirmation. The Community movie has moved from being an “if” to a “when”, but that doesn’t mean fans can expect to be watching it in the next few months. “It still doesn’t mean there’s going to be a movie tomorrow,” Harmon said (via Newseek), “It means there is definitely going to be one.” The wait for the Community movie might be a little longer still, but it’s now at least guaranteed that fans’ long-held patience will pay off.