Two Of Community's Most Popular Gags Won't Be Returning In The Movie

Now that we know a "Community" movie is on its way, fans are speculating on the next obvious question: what will it be about? By the end of season 6, Annie (Alison Brie) left Greendale to intern at the FBI, Abed (Danny Pudi) left for a job in the TV industry, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) left for a spin-off in Atlanta, and Troy (Donald Glover) was still on his boat trip around the world. For all (or even most) of these characters to return for the movie, there'd have to be a pretty good reason for them to come back to Greendale. Maybe there's some sort of special event that brings each of them back in town? Perhaps something ... paintball related?

Unfortunately, no. Showrunner Dan Harmon has definitively shut that idea down in a recent Variety interview. "It's a lot easier for me to rule stuff out than tell you what we're pursuing," he explained. "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." He went on to talk about how they never quite managed to "capture the joy" of that first paintball episode in season 1, although many of us would argue that the season 2 paintball finale was a pretty worthy sequel. 

But either way, the point's taken: basing the movie around a paintball game would indeed be a little too predictable, and a little too fan-servicey. So, what else did Harmon and the other writers rule out?

No extended homages

"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," Dan Harmon explained. "There were a lot of special episodes that were kind of like genre homages."

Unfortunately, nothing of that sort will happen in the movie, most likely because of how limiting such a structure would be. Basing your episode around a "Goodfellas" homage makes for a fun and breezy 22-minute episode, but it does not make for a strong feature film. Although the "Community" movie will likely feature plenty of movie references — I fully expect Abed to compare what's happening around him to films like "The Simpsons Movie" or "21 Jump Street," for instance — the movie itself will likely be its own standalone thing. 

Some other stuff Harmon has ruled out: Greendale Community College will not be shut down at the start of the film, nor will the movie be based around any kind of one-night reunion event. Harmon's exact words to Variety on what we can expect are predictably vague, but they're promising:

"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."

Of course, no matter what happens, we're just happy that Abed's "six seasons and a movie!" mantra has finally paid off. As long as the whole gang is back together, we're probably gonna have a cool, cool, cool, cool time.