The wait for Community the Movie is going to be even longer.
The follow-up movie, which for a time seemed almost mythical but was greenlit last fall by Peacock, was to start filming in June. But like so many things, production is on hold due to the Writers Guild strike.
“That was a bummer, because we were getting very close” to filming, series front man Joel McHale told TVLine on Thursday afternoon, while promoting Season 2 of Fox’s Crime Scene Kitchen. “But at the same time, I’m a thousand billion percent behind the writers. The writers need to be paid.”
McHale affirmed that Community the Movie is “still going to happen,” saying that “when this strike is over, we’ll come back and we’ll make it. And I am sure that [series creator] Dan [Harmon] will put in 12 jokes addressing the fact it took [this long to come together]. But we’ll get there. It just make take a little while.”
Peacock ordered Community the Movie in September 2022, more than seven years after the cult classic’s 2015 series finale. Harmon is writing the film with former series scribe Andrew Guest (whose credits include fan-favorite episodes “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” and “A Fistful of Paintballs”).
The storyline for the movie thus far is mum, though Harmon previously ruled out such ideas as another paintball competition, a Dungeons & Dragons theme, or a scenario where Greendale has been closed for a decade (or even demolished).
What Harmon did suggest is that the study group will have spent a significant amount of time apart. “It’s not because they swore each other off,” he says. “There’s a reason to get together, and then there’s a reason they have to stay together.”
Speaking with TVLine on Thursday, McHale teased, “I know what’s going on [in the movie] but I can’t say anything.” After quipping, “Everybody dies, it’s like the end of Hamlet,” he turned serious-ish and avowed, “From what I know about it, it’s great, it really is. It’s going to be a barnburner.”
In addition to McHale (as Jeff Winger), the former series regulars due back for the movie are Danny Pudi (as Abed Nadir), Alison Brie (Annie Edison), Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry), Donald Glover (Troy Barnes), Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) and Ken Jeong (Ben Chang), while Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley Bennett) and Chevy Chase (the late Pierce Hawthorne) remain question marks to varying degrees. Late-in-run cast member Keith David (Elroy Patashnik) is also expected back.