Dan Harmon Drops A Philosophical Update On The Community Movie

“Good One” podcast host Jesse David Fox broached the topic of a “Community” movie by mentioning that at a 2019 “Community” cast reunion, the majority of the cast essentially expressed their openness to a sequel series, but purely as a hypothetical. By contrast, Fox wanted to know what it might practically take for a “Community” movie to be a reality.Harmon responded not by discussing the behind-the-scenes production of a “Community” movie but by outlining what he perceives to be the ideological struggle inherent to the idea of such a film. 

On one hand, a movie based on a long-running TV series, Harmon argues, is inherently meant to satisfy that show’s existing fanbase first and foremost. On the other hand, wheeling out a constant series of references might satisfy viewers on a base level, but wouldn’t make for a work of much artistic merit. According to Harmon, the ideal hypothetical “Community” movie would be one that both fans enjoy and that can stand on its own as a valuable piece of creative work.

“Here’s the biggest philosophical question [for a reunion movie]: 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 said. “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.'”

At the interview’s end, Harmon also revealed that he is “at least once a week, thinking about it, because the gears are turning.” He continued, “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.”

The “Community” movie may not yet be a sure thing, but based on Harmon’s last statement, “six seasons and a movie” has arguably a greater chance of becoming a reality than ever before in the series’ complicated history.

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