Pop pop Human Beings, we’re finally getting a Community movie! Dan Harmon, who created the show will write and executive produce the movie. There’s no word about a title or director yet, much less a premise or release date. In the last episode, the characters pitched their ideas for season seven. We know Community loves its meta jokes, so some of those may come true. While we wait for more information, let’s brush up on where we left our favorite study group and which actors are returning for the movie.
Joel McHale will return and also executive produce the Community movie. Last we saw Jeff, he was a teacher at Greendale Community College. One of his fantasies was living a simple sitcom life with Annie and they shared a kiss before she left for the summer. He takes her and Abed to the airport to see them off on their new adventures, lamenting that starting something new is a young person’s game. Whether or not any of his character’s growth will last without Annie and Abed’s influence is questionable. After all, one of his other pitches for season seven is him and a study group of attractive red-headed young women. Will his better angels prevail? With only him and Britta left of the original study group, we’re not convinced.
In season six, Britta works at a bar that became the group’s regular hangout. She plans to continue studying psychology and become a therapist, even though the study group tried many times to talk her out of it. She lives with Abed and Annie, who both leave Colorado at the end of the series so she may be back to living in a tent on campus. Gillian Jacobs is returning for the movie so we’ll find out if Britta ever became a therapist. Hopefully she at least started seeing one.
Alison Brie is returning for the Community movie. Last we saw Annie, she was headed off to Washington, D.C. for a summer internship with the F.B.I. She said she’s “definitely, maybe, probably” returning to Greendale after that. Could her professional criminology skills be part of the movie’s premise? Joel McHale tagged Gillian Anderson instead of Gillian Jacobs when announcing the movie on Twitter. It was likely just a mistake, but Anderson replied that’s she in so let’s hope that happens. Maybe Dana Scully herself could be Annie’s F.B.I. mentor and they’ll come to Greendale for a case.
The meta master himself is part of the movie. Danny Pudi will be back as Abed, the character who predicted this “six season and a movie” run way back in season two. At the end of the series, Abed makes a surprise announcement that he is moving to Los Angeles for a job as a production assistant on a Fox TV show. Will seeing behind the scenes finally help Abed separate life from pop culture? The ultimate meta move will be if Pudi directs the Community movie.
While most people just call him Dean, the character’s name is actually Craig Pelton. Jim Rash will reprise his tour de force performance as the dean of Greendale Community College who loves to dress up. Through all his trials and tribulations, kidnappings and firings, he remains the college’s dean at the end of the series. And is still obsessed with Jeffrey.
Ken Jeong will return as Ben Chang in the Community movie. His character went through many iterations as friend, teacher, foe, and amnesiac. Some of the last lines of the series include his character tearfully revealing he’s gay. With Community‘s dubious history of gay jokes and LGBTQ+ characters, it could go either way whether this will be part of his character or forgotten entirely.
Troy Barnes was last seen leaving on a boat to sail around the world with LeVar Burton. If he completes the task, he can claim the $14.3 million left to him by Pierce Hawthorne’s will. We never saw him again, though a news scroll mentions that “LeVar Burton and non-celebrity companion” were captured by pirates in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s been no official announcement one way or the other whether Donald Glover will return. Dan Harmon told Variety that he believes Glover will be back. He did join the cast for a virtual table read during the pandemic.
Will we get Yvette Nicole Brown, who played Shirley Bennett, back for the movie? Her character moved to Atlanta to take care of her dad, as Brown took time off to be a caretaker herself. Abed gave her a spin-off, an unlikely buddy cop show with Steven Weber called The Butcher and the Baker. Brown joined the finale when a few of the characters added Shirley back in for their season seven pitches. She hasn’t confirmed her involvement but has been posting the news on her social media.
Hopefully the creators won’t pull a Britta and bring Chevy Chase back as Pierce Hawthorne. He was killed off after season four, putting an end to both the character and actor’s ability to bring racist and misogynistic storylines into Community.
There’s a whole supporting cast of kooky characters introduced throughout the series, but only a few who got to sit around the study room table. By the end of the series finale though, only Paget Brewster’s character Frankie Dart remained. She, along with the dean, Chang, Jeff, and Britta remain in Greendale and toast to season seven at the end of the series. It seems plausible Frankie will return but equally likely that she’ll never be mentioned again.
There’s been no official casting announcement outside of the six actors that were part of the show at the end of season six. With everyone’s different paths, and Community‘s history of genre-bending, there’s a lot of ways this movie could go. We can’t wait to see it!
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.