Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Dan Harmon still believes in a Community movie, despite the looming philosophical questions it poses

The sitcom's creator says the "the gears are turning"

From left to right: Chris McKenna, Gillian Jacobs, Dan Harmon, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Joel McHale, and Jim Rash in 2019
From left to right: Chris McKenna, Gillian Jacobs, Dan Harmon, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Joel McHale, and Jim Rash in 2019
Photo: Gregg DeGuire (Getty Images)

The age old query returns: six seasons and a movie, or no? Dan Harmon continues to ask himself this and many more questions concerning the long-awaited film based on the NBC (and then, briefly, Yahoo! Screen) sitcom Community. In an interview on Vulture’s Good One podcast, the show’s creator reveals he has not given up on the prospect of a follow-up film.

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“I am, at least once a week, thinking about it, because the gears are turning,” Harmon says. “There is, like… a thing is happening. Logistically, the locks are coming away. And the only problems are becoming the creative ones, which is great, because I love those problems. I love having these conversations, and they’re being had.”

Harmon and Community cast members have pushed for and pondered the logistics of a film based on the show for years now, with the goal of fulfilling a prophecy (#sixseasonsandamovie) first uttered by Danny Pudi’s character in season two.

Pudi, Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, and Jim Rash first starred on the show about a rag tag group of community college students over a decade ago. Since then, most of them have moved onto bigger projects, and in Glover’s case he kicked off a successful music career and television series after leaving the show in season four. As the years continue to pass, Harmon now asks himself the vast questions, like “Why?” and “Who would the film serve now?”

“Here’s the biggest philosophical question: Are you supposed to service a mythical new viewer? The obvious, dogmatic, practical, off-the-street answer is like, no, you don’t. It’s fan service,” Harmon says. “Why would there be a Community movie? Who do you think is going to walk in off the street and buy popcorn and sit and watch a Community movie like that? They deserve to be punished. Why are they doing that?”

One of the biggest creative roadblocks Harmon faces is how to approach presenting the characters six years after the show ended, and the pitfalls of picking up the storyline right where it left off.

“Do you want to see these people play dress-up in their old outfits and come in and go, ‘Look at me. Meep meep, moop moop. Look what I used to do’? Yes, to some degree; no, to some degree. And contrary to that, do you want to see these people not doing that and coming in in pantsuits and going, ‘I’m an adult now. Meep meep, moop moop. Remember when we did this?’”

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Community premiered in 2009, and managed to air for six season despite constant threats of cancellation, Harmon’s dismissal after the third season (and re-hiring after the fourth), switching networks, and the departure of lead cast members Glover, Brown, and Chase. There will most likely be many more questions Harmon asks himself if he moves forward like, “Will the original cast return?” and “What will it be about?” but for now he’s got enough on his plate.