‘Community’ Movie Won’t Feature Paintball: ‘Running Around with Guns in a School’ Was ‘Never’ Good on TV

Dan Harmon also said "Dungeons & Dragons" likely won't come into play for the highly anticipated film.
Community Season 6 Episode 609 "Grifting"
Justin Lubin/Yahoo/Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television

Over the course of its six seasons, “Community” featured five episodes focusing on the faculty and staff of Greendale engaged in high-stakes paintball warfare. Many of those episodes are fan favorites, but according to series creator Dan Harmon, paintball will be one iconic element of the show that won’t make its way into the highly anticipated film spinoff. Harmon was the guest on the December 23 episode of the “Community” recap podcast “Six Seasons and a Podcast,” where he spoke about his plans for the upcoming film, which will premiere on Peacock and is set to reunite original cast members Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, and possibly Yvette Nicole Brown and Donald Glover. (Chevy Chase, who had a contentious relationship with the rest of the cast, is not expected to appear.) During the interview, Harmon decidedly ruled out including any paintball warfare.

“It’s a lot easier for me to rule stuff out than tell you what we’re pursuing,” Harmon said (via People). “For instance, we go, ‘Do we really think it’d be a good idea for the ‘Community’ movie 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.”

Harmon further said that he felt that the show’s follow-up episodes to the original paintball episode “Modern Warfare” failed to capture the magic of the original and that the central conceit of the episodes, where people are “running around with guns in a school” was “never a good idea on TV, even back then.”

Harmon further elaborated that, as much as these episodes that broke from the sitcom formula helped to make the series stand out, he likely can’t include them in the movie script. He also brought up the episodes where the cast played Dungeons & Dragons as another example of iconic moments from the show that won’t come into play for the reunion.

“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 that we had — the things that we contributed as a show,” Harmon said. “Or we’d play ‘Dungeons & Dragons for 90 minutes. I kinda gotta rule that out — maybe a better writer wouldn’t.”

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