Joel McHale Confirms It’ll Shoot This Year

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After being discussed for around a decade, the movie is coming much closer to being a reality, according to star Joel McHale.

In an interview with Deadline today, in support of his Fox sitcom Animal Control, returning for its second season March 6, McHale first pointed to recent comments by co-star Donald Glover in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, confirming that “the script’s done.”

McHale said that while he hasn’t yet read the script himself, he’s more than happy to share some story details. “We go to the center of the earth,” he joked. “It’s like the movie The Core.” (In an interview with our sister publication, The Hollywood Reporter, Glover revealed that the film centers on “a college reunion.” One-time Greendale Community College film student Abed Nadir, played by Danny Pudi, is now “this big director,” and the Peacock pic we’ll watch is “his magnum opus.”)

In all seriousness, McHale said, it’s his belief that the Community movie will shoot “this year.” He’ll be “shocked,” he said, if it doesn’t. “But I really do think it’s happening this year, and probably next week. It’s basically working around Donald’s schedule.”

In conversation with Deadline on the Fox lot, McHale also called his Animal Control cast “one of the funniest groups of people I’ve been around” — in contrast to the Community team, who he joked “were just a bunch of hacks.”

While one of his old co-stars, Ken Jeong, appears on Animal Control this season as a dog whisperer, McHale joked that he, too, is “a hack and cannot act or tell jokes,” going on to claim that “he’s not funny, not successful, and I have carried him for years. Everyone thinks I’m joking, but it’s true.”

Of course, in reality, McHale said, Jeong’s episodes were coming in too long because he did “so much funny stuff…He was really way too f***ing funny, and it really pissed me off.”

Created by Dan Harmon, Community ran for 110 episodes across six seasons, between 2009 and 2015, originating on NBC before moving over to the now-defunct Yahoo! Screen for its final run. Watching as McHale’s suspended lawyer befriends a group of eccentrics after being enforced to enroll in community college, the show was not always a ratings juggernaut, though it has maintained a very loyal fan following throughout all these years. Over the course of its run, it also notably won an an Emmy, a Critics’ Choice Television Award, and other accolades.

Peacock officially announced the Community movie back in 2022, enlisting Harmon and Andrew Guest to pen the script. McHale said during a January 2023 interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that it was to begin shooting in June of last year, though those plans fell through in a double strike summer.

In addition to McHale, cast members set to return for the movie include Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Jeong, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Glover.

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