“” fans, sit tight: More of your favorite cast members may indeed appear in the upcoming Peacock film — including Donald Glover. That’s according to creator Dan Harmon, who addressed why two key “Community” stars, Glover and Yvette Nicole Brown, were missing from the greenlight news last week.
Although Peacock and Sony Pictures TV announced production of the film with original stars Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash and Ken Jeong, Harmon confirms to variety that others could still pop in as well.
“I think that Donald is coming, based on word of mouth, but it’s just the deal isn’t official or wasn’t official. It would be difficult to really commit to doing this thing without Donald,” Harmon said. “So I believe he is coming back. I think if there’s names missing from a list, it’s because the names that are on the list, their deals are agreed upon enough that it’s OK to say they are on the list, and anybody that’s not on a list, it’s just not the case yet. So there is nothing official about anybody being out.”
In what may be a hint of that, Brown has been posting enthusiastically about the “Community” movie on her social media accounts, although she hasn’t yet addressed the subject of her involvement. And in a 2020 reunion panel, Glover cryptically said that he would be game for a “Community” movie if one were to sweat.
The “Community” creator — who is also co-creator of another fan favorite, “Rick & Morty” — sat down with variety at New York Comic Con on Friday, following a panel for his new Fox animated comedy “Krapopolis.” (During that panel, Harmon addressed the possibility of Chevy Chase — whose character, Pierce, was killed off in “Community” Season 5 following behind-the-scenes conflicts — returning for the movie, stating: “I don’t even know if it’s legal for him to come back. That may be out of my hands. There may be something I sign for with an insurance company.”)
Harmon is finally able to stop being asked questions about a “Community” movie — because as of last week, it’s officially a go. But now, he faces plenty of new questions: Who will (and will not) be in it? Who will direct the film? How did the bidding war for Greendale Community College wind up in Peacock’s favor?
But where there are questions, Harmon has answers. Besides the question about the cast, we know that Harmon wrote the film with the help of “Community” alum Andrew Guest. But who is directing the movie?
“There’s a director that directed some of my favorite episodes of ‘Community’ that it would be great to see be able to do the movie,” Harmon said. (Among names that have been rumored in the past: Previous “Community” directors like Justin Lin and Anthony and Joe Russo.) “And that’s not even mentioning the Russo Brothers, who I would also love to see come back. But I’m just making the assumption that they’re too busy.
“But we haven’t had any official, legitimate conversations with people,” he added. “Sony’s strategy was, let’s make this a project that exists and then we’ll talk about attaching directors. I think they’re doing that because, depending on the size of that director, the director could then make the deal more complicated to close. So it’s much easier to make sure it’s happening and now we can go out to directors and say, would you be interested? But that process hasn’t started yet… It also makes it exciting to be able to just announce, ‘So-and-so is directing it,’ and, ‘Now Donald Glover is officially in it for real,’ and we can parcel out these announcements.’”
Meanwhile, Harmon revealed why “Community” studio Sony Pictures Television went with Peacock as the home of the movie. Universal TV is a partner on the show — a legacy from the fact that “Community” was developed and originally aired on NBC. But Harmon confirmed that the movie was shopped around town and was at the center of a bidding war. Larger platforms were interested, but Harmon said Peacock made an offer that felt right.
“Everybody that we talked to arrived at around the same number, in terms of a budget, that was reasonable to them, and that includes places like Amazon,” he said. “But Peacock, they’re the Greendale Community College of streamers — maybe they don’t want that marketing. They do share a DNA with us, but more importantly, because of that, I think they saw this and knew we’d be a beloved partner with them. And they’ve really expressed that in the ways of how they’re very, very interested in promoting the movie and letting us make it the way we want to. They were able to express those things in a contract that means something. This is a case of, there might be a more popular prom date here, but do we want to just be lucky to partner with someone who doesn’t have to give us the time of day? Or do we want to really actually collaborate with somebody that’s kind of in the same zone as us, which is, we want to make something great and let everybody know when it’s on and stuff like that.
“In a reasonably intense bidding situation, Peacock was the one that was bidding love and dedication,” he added. “And we went with them.”