More than 25 years after fans were introduced to the Simpsons family in animated segments of The Tracey Ullman Show and subsequently dominated Sunday nights with their own The Simpsons series, the characters made the jump to the big screen with 2007's The Simpsons Movie, with showrunner Al Jean confirming talks are still happening for a potential movie sequel. Jean previously confirmed that plans had gained momentum before the pandemic hit, which caused the creative team to wait to see theaters reopen, and while cinemas are still attempting to bounce back, Jean and the rest of the creatives behind The Simpsons are still considering a theatrical sequel.
"We're cursed by high ratings. We're still on the air as a TV show and that takes up a lot of time," Jean confirmed to NME. "I worked on the [first] movie simultaneous to the show, and it nearly killed the animators. But we have an idea, it's just that we're waiting to see what the environment is. Do we want to do it as a streamer? In theaters? Animation has been the slowest to come back to theaters. But now that [ages] five and up are getting vaccinated [in America], the business might resume. We're in a wait-and-see mode. But there's definitely the germ of something there."
What makes The Simpsons Movie so fascinating is it marks a rare occurrence of a TV series making the jump to a feature film while the source material was still alive and well. We've seen films inspire TV shows and TV shows inspire films, but there are far fewer instances of a property delivering a weekly series concurrent to a film as the series continued running after a movie's release.
Earlier this year, Jean had detailed that plans for a sequel had been talked about, though he also noted the goal of such a project would be to witness it on the big screen. At the time, he seemed opposed to a streaming debut, yet these more recent comments imply he's open to delivering a streaming film.
"We were really talking about it a lot before the pandemic. And now I think just as a caution, I want to see how movies and, specifically, animated movies come back, because I wouldn't want to do it just as a streaming experience," Jean confirmed with ComicBook.com back in July. "We really want it to be a theatrical movie because that was the point of the first one, it was a thing you couldn't get anywhere else. I'm going to movies, I'm vaccinated. I'm really rooting for the movie industry, but I want to see what, personally, the landscape is. And then they also have so many great movies, I think they have five Avatar movies, five Star Wars movies in waiting ... so they have a lot to roll out and we're going to go see Black Widow this weekend. I'm going to support the theater, even though I have Disney+."
Stay tuned for details on the future of The Simpsons.
Would you like to see another The Simpsons Movie? Let us know in the comments below!