But what should the show creators do considering how cinematic the television episodes are? How can Dan Harmon and co. expand the scope of the little show that could into a full-fledged movie-going experience?
There aren’t many previous examples of television shows going cinematic: Star Trek, of course, The X-Files, Firefly, and Veronica Mars. But what I’ve gleaned from the most successful of those (The X-Files: Fight the Future, Serenity) is that you have to keep the show’s flavor while expanding its borders. Here’s one idea to do just that. It is free for use to Dan Harmon should he want to develop it.
First, kill two birds with one stone by bringing back Donald Glover and having him invite the study group/Save Greendale Committee on a vacation cruise. He has escaped the pirates and now seeks revenge or, alternatively, to save his beloved LeVar Burton. Not only will the movie audience welcome the return of our beloved Troy, but it also provides an expanded setting to automatically give us the widescreen landscape.
This also opens up a list of parody/homage options that the show has only been able to touch on during “Beginner Pottery” when part of the group learns to sail in the parking lot.
Opening credits in the style of The Love Boat. Then we could transition to a Cape Fear homage, where one of the college characters, like the Dean, sneaks on to pursue the object of his attraction: Joel. During a scuffle, perhaps Abed could get hit on the head by a mast, leading to a dream-reality.
Embedded in the dream would be a parody of Fantasy Island where Luis Guizman could play Ricardo Montalban’s Mr. Roarke, Chang would be Tattoo, and all the Greendale characters appear as Fantasy Island characters using this Wizard of Oz conceit. Imagine Starburns in one of those grass-skirt get-ups.
Back on the boat, after Abed is revived, a run-in with a shark leads to Jaws and if they procure themselves a bigger boat, they could transition into Titantic. That shipwreck could lead to a Gilligan’s Island finale, which could either be the show’s cliffhanger for season 7 or series end depending on Yahoo!Screen’s desires.
I leave the more detailed casting of parallel parts to commentors or to Mr. Harmon himself.