'Doctor Strange' Script Gets Some 'Community' Help From Dan Harmon (Exclusive)

The comedy creator has little experience writing for superheroes, but he's the latest to join Marvel's odd writing club for the comic book movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images; iStock

When Marvel Studios needed a writer to whip up some additional last-minute scenes for its latest movie, Doctor Strange, it called on a writer you wouldn't expect: Dan Harmon, co-creator of Community, the beloved but ratings-anemic sitcom about a bunch of community college misfits that was canceled by NBC in 2013 (but came back to life on Yahoo last year).

Harmon, 43, has written for the big screen before (sort of — he did uncredited work on 2008's Kung Fu Panda and has a credit on 2006's Monster House), but as far as THR can tell, the television comedy creator has zero experience writing for superheroes.

The move follows the outside-the-box thinking that Marvel is known for. One of the best example is hiring Anthony and Joe Russo, best known as TV comedy directors for their work on Arrested Development, Happy Endings, and, yes, Community, to make the jump into superheroes. They have now directed two of Marvel's most acclaimed movies, Captain America: The Winter Solider and Captain America: Civil War.

Harmon was brought on board after the movie had wrapped initial production; his pages were “for additional photography,” according to one source.

Harmon joins Sinister co-writers Scott Derrickson (who is directing the $165 million Doctor Strange) and C. Robert Cargill (who has his own unique story: He was formerly a movie reviewer for Ain't It Cool News under the handle "Masswyrm") in this Marvel film's odd writing club. The duo share story-by credit with Jon Spaihts, best known for writing Prometheus and who wrote the upcoming Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt sci-fi movie Passengers.

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 9 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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