Don’t Expect Another Simpsons Movie While The Simpsons Is On The Air
Maybe my great-grandchildren will get to see it.
It’s crazy that it took The Simpsons eighteen years to make the leap from television to film. There were earlier attempts, of course, some of which became episodes instead (like season four’s “Kamp Krusty” and last season’s “The Man Who Came To Be Dinner”). But when The Simpsons Movie hit theaters in summer 2007, season nineteen was about to premiere, and many passionate fans had turned on the show seasons earlier. Those that made it to the theater – perhaps intrigued by the involvement of some Golden Age writers – were treated to a very funny movie that had the look of later seasons but the humor of earlier ones. Talk of another film began as early as The Simpsons Movie‘s credits, with Maggie’s first word being “sequel,” and the season nineteen premiere featured the chalkboard gag, “I’m not waiting 20 more years for a sequel.” Given the film’s worldwide gross of over half a billion and renewed popularity in the show thanks to last year’s Every Simpsons Ever marathon, a Simpsons Movie sequel seems like a no-brainer. But according to longtime showrunner Al Jean, another Simpsons film is unlikely, at least while the show is going (so, all our lifetimes).
This comes from a recent interview Jean did with Variety, wherein he talks about a number of topics, including the show’s continued existence and how it tries to stay relevant. At the end, Jean is asked whether the show will do another movie, to which he responds:
The movie was such a time-intensive operation, it pulled a lot away from the show. I would rather end the show whenever that happens before doing another movie. It’s unlikely there’ll be another “Simpsons” feature while the show is being produced.
Jean’s comments here are more direct than his comments from this past January, when he spoke to Entertainment Weekly on the odds of a sequel.
My guess it’s 50-50. Our feeling is that the first movie was pretty successful and we don’t want the second movie to be any less successful. And I’m not talking about financially only—I’m also talking about no one wants to do a movie where people think, ‘Why did they do that? It wasn’t necessary.’ We actually think of ideas for shorts more easily than for features. To be honest, there’s nothing that I’d say, ‘This is what we were thinking we would do if we did a feature.’
I still expect there to be another Simpsons movie, and doing it at the series’ end makes a lot of sense. Only The Simpsons is showing no signs of slowing down, even after Harry Shearer’s exit last month, so that might be another decade.
As for whether there should even be another Simpsons movie, I’m in favor of a sequel. The show is pushing thirty and remains solid – something many critical fans discovered during the marathon – and old writers like John Swartzwelder and Mike Scully, who worked on the first film, would likely come back for another one. Like Jean mentioned, it would put a strain on everyone involved, but strain can be dulled with money, something that would definitely be poured into a Simpsons Movie sequel. So don’t expect a sequel anytime soon, but don’t fully count out the possibility of one, either.