"Six seasons and a movie." For years, that mantra has kept fans of cult hit Community united in a common goal for the show (ever since Abed (Danny Pudi) yelled it during season two) - and thus far, it has served the show's fanbase well.
Despite its cancellation by NBC after season 5, Community found new life on Yahoo! Screen and season six aired in the first half of 2015. With six seasons now in the can, only one component of series creator Dan Harmon's vision remains unfulfilled. (Well, okay, maybe it's just Abed's vision, but still...)
Esquire caught up with star Joel McHale about the chances that we'll ever see a Community film. Here's what the actor had to say about what comes next:
"All of our contracts ended this season. They would have to significantly increase some of the pay of some of the actors, I think. For so long, we were on NBC against The Big Bang Theory and we would get some numbers, which were actually very helpful to the Thursday night numbers, but they canceled us. And thank God for Yahoo! Screen. I really do think there'll be a movie."
At this point, Yahoo! may very well opt to renew the show for another batch of episodes, but both Harmon and McHale have instead continued to tease that a film may be the way the show concludes at last. According to McHale, circumstances need to be just right for the project to come together.
"I think what has to happen is that Dan [Harmon, creator] needs to write the script. It's a tall order for someone. 'Go write a brilliant movie script on a beloved show that you've been writing for six years. Go! Just go ahead and do that!' I don't think that is something that's like, 'Let me just have a long weekend.' The cast would do it. We would all do it."
Time and again, McHale and other core members of the cast - including Ken Jeong - have expressed their devotion to the show and its characters. Still, with McHale juggling multiple other gigs, such as an upcoming guest spot on The X-Files revival (and people like co-star Alison Brie being very much on the rise, career-wise), a film may be the best way to fit a conclusion to Community in everyone's schedule. McHale, for one, holds fast to the idea that it's simply a matter of time.
"Much like a Japanese general in World War II, or any war before that, the only option is success. If there isn't, then it's suicide. I really do think there'll be a movie. It might be false optimism, but I really think there will be. The more people read and talk about it, the more it gets stirred up. I think it'll be bigger than Pitch Perfect 2."
All kidding aside, time will tell if Community ever receives the big screen treatment fans have so long clamored for. However, the show has certainly demonstrated on several occasions that anything is possible. So, how about it, Community fans: are you still hoping for a film version, or would you prefer season 7 instead?
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all future Community-related developments.