More than seven years after its final season, NBC sitcom “Community” is FINALLY getting a movie! NBC won the rights to the project after a bidding war, and will stream the finished product on Peacock, their digital platform.
Six of “Community’s” nine central stars will return for the movie: Joel McHale (Jeff), Danny Pudi (Abed), Alison Brie (Annie), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), Jim Rash (Craig) and Ken Jeong (Ben). Series creator Dan Harmon will also be attached to the project, both as a producer and as a writer alongside Andrew Guest. Guest previously worked as a writer on “Community “during its first two seasons, and has since written numerous episodes for shows such as “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Marry Me,” and “Suburgatory.”
Peacock has not commented on whether the other three members of the cast — Donald Glover (Troy), Chevy Chase (Pierce) and Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley) — will be returning for the movie, or if future negotiations are planned to include them. The Hollywood Reporter notes all three stars departed “Community” before the canceled NBC comedy was revived for what became its sixth and final season on Yahoo as part of the online portal’s short-lived experiment with scripted originals. Chase and Harmon famously did not get along and Brown left after season five in order to care for her ailing father and did not return for the series finale. Glover appeared in only a handful of early season five episodes, and would go on to earn critical praise and an Emmy for creating, writing and starring in FX’s “Atlanta.”
“‘Six seasons and a movie’ started out as a cheeky line from Community’s early seasons and quickly ignited a passionate fan movement for this iconic, hilarious and cool (cool, cool) NBC comedy,” said Susan Rovner, chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’re incredibly grateful that 15 years later, we are able to deliver fans this promised movie and can’t wait to get to work.”
Fans of the series will no doubt be excited to have this tongue-in-cheek chant finally pay off. The series faced a tumultuous run on network television, always scrambling to keep its rating just good enough to avoid getting canceled. It solidified itself as a cult classic in the streaming era when its five-season library became available across multiple platforms. In addition to the movie, Peacock has also secured rights to the show’s full library, which it will share with Disney-controlled Hulu. Harmon, who was briefly fired from the series, has remained steadfast over the years that it wasn’t a question of “if” but “when” the Community movie would become a reality. Those who have been loyal followers of the show should be happy to see that their faith has paid off.
The movie does not yet have a premiere date, but given the rise of revivals, reboots, and re-imaginings across streaming platforms, we probably won’t have to wait too long.