Community Movie Will Be Missing 1 Major Actor from the Show

By Jennifer McDonough Updated:
Community cast

One principal cast member from Community will not reprise their role in the upcoming movie for mostly obvious reasons.

It was announced last fall that the prophecy would come true, as the cult hit television sitcom Community would finally receive its long-gestating follow-up film, thus fulfilling the fanbase’s rallying cry of “Six seasons and a movie.”

The cast was announced in September 2022 and filming was originally poised to kick off this summer, but the writers’ strike intervened.

Troy and Abed in a Movie

Appearing on the podcast Let’s Talk Off Camera with Kelly Ripa, Community star Joel McHale who played the sardonic Jeff Winger on all six seasons of the show’s original run gave a sarcastic but seemingly definitive statement on whether or not Chevy Chase would return as Pierce Hawthorne for Community: The Movie:

“I- that one is uh- [laughs] don’t- I don’t think so. Uhh, there wasn’t any issues at all when we were making the show! Well, technically his character died so I guess-”

Chase was notably fired from the series in its fourth season after making several insensitive remarks and behaving unprofessionally. His character was killed off-screen during Season 5.

On a more positive note, McHale revealed that Donald Glover would reprise his role as Troy Barnes in the film:

“Well, Donald’s coming back and that’s really important. Well, the fact that we even got- like, Donald’s gonna do it, which is- that was the big, y’know, piece. But I think everyone’s comin’ back. I mean that’s- so far we’re pretty good and I think that will happen. Uhh, if not then, y’know, uhh, Donald will be there. It’ll just be Donald. It’ll just be an episode of Atlanta!”

Donald Glover’s involvement was always a big question mark given the actor/producer/musician’s packed schedule.

And as for when the Community movie will now kick off production, McHale gave the update that “we’re shooting it next summer.”

Is Chevy Chase’s Absence Streets Behind?

Chevy Chase in Community

Pierce Hawthorne was usually depicted as racist, sexist, and incredibly out of touch. But there was still some merit to be found in Chase’s character. Pierce could occasionally drop a cutting truth or pearl of wisdom and at the end of the day, he was really just a misfit who desperately wanted to belong.

That being said, many of Chase’s cast mates did not at all enjoy working with him. He was reportedly often boorish and ill-mannered on set. And that's not to mention the time he sent series creator Dan Harmon an expletive-filled voicemail regarding the direction of his character.

Chevy Chase cut his teeth on Saturday Night Live in the 70s and 80s and was not at all accustomed to the modern sensibilities of Community’s brand of comedy, which caused a lot of frustration and a huge disconnect between what he wanted to see and what the show was actually doing.

Still, many were hoping that Chase would pop in for, at the very least, a quick cameo in Community: The Movie especially considering that he and Harmon have since buried the hatchet.

But Donald Glover being confirmed to come back is a major win. Some asset that Community lost its way when the actor departed the show midway through Season 5. No longer could the cast and crew lean on his deft talent for ad-libbing and, especially unfortunately, the series’ signature duo of Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir were forced to come to a parting of ways.

Hopefully, the Community movie will live up to almost a decade of waiting. That feels a little more attainable now that Donald Glover has joined the cast.

- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.