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Community: The Movie "Barnburner"; Joel McHale Confirms Filming Delay

Joel McHale (Community) likes what he knows about the Peacock movie but confirmed that filming has been delayed by the writers' strike

Look, if there's any group of fans who understand the importance of patience when it comes to getting what they want, it's Community fans. Just as long as, at the end of the day, Peacock's Dan Harmon & Andrew Guest-written, Joel McHale (Jeff), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), Danny Pudi (Abed), Alison Brie (Annie), Ken Jeong (Ben Chang), Jim Rash (Craig Pelton), and Donald Glover (Troy Barnes)-starring Community movie ends up hitting their screens. And that's a great quality to have, considering McHale confirmed to TVLine that filming was "getting very close" before the WGA/AMPTP writers' strike kicked in and hit the brakes on everything. "That was a bummer because we were getting very close" to the start of filming, McHale revealed. "But at the same time, I'm a thousand billion percent behind the writers. The writers need to be paid." McHale continued, "When this strike is over, we'll come back, and we'll make it. And I am sure that Dan [Harmon] will put in 12 jokes addressing the fact it took [this long to come together]. But we'll get there. It just may take a little while." As for what viewers can expect? "I know what's going on [in the movie], but I can't say anything," McHale teased (joking, "Everybody dies, it's like the end of Hamlet). "From what I know about it, it's great, it really is. It's going to be a barnburner."

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Image: Peacock

Dan Harmon on What Won't Work for Community Movie

Checking in with Six Seasons and a Podcast, Harmon had some intel to share on the script (written by Harmon and Andrew Guest) for the upcoming movie. In the following highlights (you can listen to the entire episode below), Harmon addresses some of the thematic concepts that worked during the show's run not making the cut for the film & why, and discusses why there needs to be a reason for the gang to reunite that doesn't go down cliched routes like "class reunion."

Image: YouTube Screencap

Community Fans Shouldn't Expect a "Greatest Hits" Tour: "It's a lot easier for me to rule stuff out than tell you what we're pursuing. For instance, we go, 'Do we really think it'd be a good idea to be a paintball episode?' It's one of the first things to rule out because it's the first thing off the top of your head, and that's an issue with the 'Community' movie concept. We did a lot of episodes where you are joyfully locked into a construct that isn't a traditional sitcom narrative but is rather through the lens of David Fincher or Martin Scorsese. There were a lot of special episodes that were kind of like genre homages. The paintball thing was one of them. We tried to do a bunch more paintballs, and they were all perfectly wonderful things to do, but would anything ever capture the joy of the original paintball episode?"

Harmon On Why "Paintball" Wouldn't Play Today, Dungeons & Dragons Out: "You're running around with guns in a school, which was never a good idea on TV, even back then. How can we do that in a way that's acceptable? You sit down to write the movie, and you're like, 'So, we'd do that, right?' Because it's so emblematic of what made our show special and the triumphs we had, the things we contributed as a show. Or we'd play Dungeons & Dragons for 90 minutes. I kinda gotta rule that out — maybe a better writer wouldn't."

Community Movie Won't Go Reunion/Closing-the-School Route: "You're not gonna do anything terribly clever with using the school's demise or resurrection as a device because you don't want too much of your movie to be spent unrecognizable. It wouldn't be outlandish to suggest that enough time has gone by in 'Community' that the world, and not these characters, has changed so significantly that there's a lot to deal with. They haven't been together in a long time, but it's not because they swore each other off… there's a reason to get together, and there's a reason they have to stay together."

Now, here's a listen to the entire episode of Six Seasons & a Podcast, "Intro to Remedial Cinematic Pitches with Very Special Guest Dan Harmon":

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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