'I want to do [a movie] yesterday,' Ken Jeong tells EW. 'You couldn't sign me up any quicker'
Community fans hoping for a seventh season of the show are not going to like what Joel McHale had to say about that prospect. In an interview with MetroWeekly unearthed by Vulture, McHale said that new deals for the cast would be cost prohibitive. “[A]ll of our contracts were up after six years,” he said. “All the actors on the show, almost without exception — their stock has risen significantly and it’s out of the pay rate that is affordable to make the show. So you’re not going to be able to get Alison Brie or Gillian Jacobs at a normal television salary anymore. There is just not enough money to be able to pay for the show.”
This doesn’t rule out the possibility of a movie for the community college-set comedy, which would fulfill Abed’s six-seasons-and-a-movie ideal. Sony, which produces the show, is currently in talks with Yahoo!, and according to sources close to the situation, a film is the likely option. Yahoo! released a vague-but-optimistic statement on Tuesday that said: “We’ve seen tremendous value in our partnership with Sony and are continuing to discuss future opportunities for Community.”
Of course, any discussion of Community‘s future starts with creator Dan Harmon. Speaking with EW Radio in June, just a few days after season 6 ended, Harmon praised his experience with Yahoo — the streaming service became the new home for the show when NBC cancelled it after five seasons — but he sounded like he needed a little distance before returning to the one he loved. “I told Yahoo!, ‘I can’t think about writing a movie until I miss Community,” he said. They wanted to turn around and do a movie immediately, and Yahoo! can get it done. They’re like the NSA.”
Cast members are game for such a film scenario. “I really do think there’ll be a movie,” McHale told Esquire in June, noting: “The cast would do it. We would all do it.” And late last week, McHale’s co-star Ken Jeong told EW that he was eager to make the Community movie. “I want to do it yesterday,” he said. “I just saw Joel McHale recently and we were talking about it. And actually whenever we get together, all we do is talk: ‘When are we going to get the band back together?’ You couldn’t sign me up any quicker. I hate to be all cryptic about it, but it will happen when it happens — but I definitely think it will happen.”
Update: McHale took to Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, put a more hopeful spin on the situation. “Easy, sugar-bear, Community is not canceled,” he wrote. “#QuestionMarkSeasonsAndaMovie.”