Community Movie: Dan Harmon says the film won’t include Dungeons & Dragons or paintball

Last Updated on December 30, 2022

Community movie, Peacock, paintball

While Dan Harmon is ready to make Community fans’ dreams come true by developing a Community movie for Peacock, the project will only include some things on people’s list of demands. In other words, if you’re hoping for more Dungeons & Dragons or paintball action, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Speaking on the Six Seasons and a Podcast, Harmon said the film he’s writing with Andrew Guest would not include the aforementioned fan-favorite motifs.

“It’s a lot easier for me to rule stuff out than tell you what we’re pursuing,” Harmon explained on the podcast. “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. 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. There were a lot of special episodes that were kind of like genre homages. The paintball thing was one of them. We tried to do a bunch more paintballs, and they were all perfectly wonderful things to do, but would anything ever capture the joy of the original paintball episode?”

The Community television series features multiple paintball-themed episodes, each inspired by an existing film or franchise, including Die HardStar Warsand A Fist Full of Dollars. Every episode presents a new spin on the paintball theme, but every good idea has a shelf life, and sometimes, it’s better to leave things in the past. Creating a Community movie allows Harmon, Guest, and their crew to create something entirely new for the show’s characters, and they want to take advantage of that unique opportunity.

Harmon also noted the increase in school shootings since Community was on the air. So, having the Community cast running around the Greendale Community College campus shooting one another could sour the film experience.

“You’re running around with guns in a school, which was never a good idea on TV even back then,” he said. “How can we do that in a way that’s acceptable? You sit down to write the movie and you’re like, ‘So, we’d do that right?’ Because it’s so emblematic of what made our show special and the triumphs we had, the things we contributed as a show. Or we’d play Dungeons & Dragons for 90 minutes. I kinda gotta rule that out — maybe a better writer wouldn’t.”

Harmon and Guest won’t reveal the plot of the Community movie but confirmed the film wouldn’t be a “reunion” episode or revolve around a dilapidated Greendale campus.

“You’re not gonna do anything terribly clever with using the school’s demise or resurrection as a device because you don’t want too much of your movie to be spent unrecognizable,” he said. “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.”

Are you disappointed by the lack of paintball or Dungeons & Dragons in the Community movie? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Six Seasons and a Podcast

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.