Six seasons and a movie. It was a mantra adopted by Community fans, and it came from one of their own: Danny Pudi, who played the pop culture-obsessed Abed Nadir on the situation comedy. They used it as a punchline. They used it as a hash tag on Twitter. And now, it might actually come true, as Pudi recently elaborated:
A movie is the last part of it. I believe we will do it, and I'm hopeful. I don't know when, but I think we're talking about it. People are actually talking about it. I think there is an appetite, I don't know if there will be in 10 years. Either way, I just want to do it because I want to see what everybody's up to.
Against most odds, Community did reach six seasons, though they needed Yahoo to step in and give them a Web series to make it happen. NBC routinely underserved the oddball comedy about a group of outcasts at a community college, even though the fanbase for the Dan Harmon-created comedy was passionate (but smaller than, say, your average Big Bang Theory following).
While a Community movie absolutely could work -- much stranger shows have been spun off into feature-length films, from CHIPS and 21 Jump Street to the little-seen Absolutely Fabulous -- there would be obstacles to putting it together. Some of the cast have blown up. Donald Glover has numerous successful endeavors on his radar, from playing Lando Calrissian in the STILL untitled Han Solo movie to starring in the award-winning Atlanta. Glover left Community once (missing the sixth season). Would he even return for a movie?
Danny Pudi's comments to EW are encouraging for Community fans who have to be amazed at the ensemble's ability to maintain interest in the show -- which followed a loose structure and was episodic, but still connected dots on a storyline that easily could be picked up. There were benchmark ideas that surfaced each season (an escalating Nerf war being one of them), but a movie could really break ground in ways this already groundbreaking sitcom hadn't tried. Because Community frequently had fun with circumventing the confines of a 30-minute comedy, we're tickled just thinking of the ways Dan Harmon and his crew could reinvent a TV-to-Movies adaptation. You could tell me that the Community movie would be a period romance in line with a Jane Austen novel, and I'd say, "Sure, I can see that."
Will this movie ever happen? My money would be on "no," but then again, I would have bet the same money on Community not lasting past the underwhelming fourth season, where Dan Harmon was replaced as showrunner and the show lost its way. Stay tuned for more developments on the next possible chapter of Community stories... possibly in movies form.