Dan Harmon has said that the Community movie has presented a few creative challenges, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to think about the project.
According to Syfy Wire, Harmon got onto the topic of the long-discussed Community movie when he recently appeared as a guest on an episode of Vulture’s Good One podcast. He revealed he’s still actively thinking about the project, but admitted that he’s faced a bit of a storytelling dilemma when considering the audience it should be aimed at.
“Here’s the biggest philosophical question: Are you supposed to service a mythical new viewer?” he pondered. “The obvious, dogmatic, practical, off-the-street answer is like, no, you don’t. It’s fan service. 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?”
“Saying that that person doesn’t exist is a lot different from asking yourself structurally if you’re supposed to design the movie for them, because there’s a new viewer inside of all of us,” he explained, likening it to a Marvel movie starting with “inside references to all 90 other Marvel movies” but losing part of the audience because it ends up “speaking in gibberish.”
“Formalistically, you owe a movie that I think the fans can not only enjoy, but they can stand back and go, ‘you know, the crazy thing about this Community movie is that if you didn’t know there was a show, this is an insanely good movie,” he added. “There’s a reason to watch it and then definitely watch the series.”
Harmon added that it’s not only a challenge to create a story for the audience but also for the original cast, who starred in the series as a bunch of mismatched community college students. If they were on board with the idea, they would now be reuniting on-screen more than six years later, and Harmon recognized the difficulty in finding a story to suit them.
“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,” he contemplated. “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… Remember when we did this?'”
Despite these creative challenges and dilemmas, Harmon remained positive about the possibility of a Community movie happening in the future. He assured fans that “the gears are turning” and “the locks are coming away” because he’s been actively thinking about the project “at least once a week” and that has kept the conversation flowing.
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All six seasons of the quick-witted, meta-riffic comedy series — including the one season without Harmon and the final season that aired on the now-defunct Yahoo Screen — became available on Netflix last year, causing fans to shout from the virtual rooftops for a follow-up movie, especially since most of the cast have expressed a desire to enrol in the project.
Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.