The Simpsons has been on the air forever, or at least that’s how it feels. Since 1989, Bart, Lisa, Homer, and Marge have continuously appeared on TV in one form or another, week after week.
Whether you think the show is relevant or not, there’s no denying its cultural cache. Al Jean, the show’s executive producer and showrunner, recently said that a sequel to 2007’s The Simpsons Movie is in development.
Jean said one of the main issues delaying the movie is that the show is still on the air, and that the last time they made a movie, it was hell on the animators. They’re also apparently trying to decide whether to give it a theatrical release or premiere it exclusively on streaming.
Here are Jean’s full comments, courtesy of NME.
“We’re cursed by high ratings. We’re still on the air as a TV show and that takes up a lot of time. 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 theatres? Animation has been the slowest to come back to theatres. 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.”
The Covid issue is obviously a big one, especially if parents aren’t taking their kids to the movie theater for fear of potential infection. As an animated movie, there’s always a younger audience basically baked in.
The first Simpsons movie came out quite a while ago, and even back then the show was past its cultural prime. Regardless, there’s a huge audience for it still, as evidenced by the show continuously showing up on streaming services like Disney Plus.
The Simpsons is currently in its 33rd season. It has more than 700 episodes and has garnered 34 Emmy nominations. The movie made more than $530 million at the box office on a budget of $75 million. Would a sequel even come close to those numbers? We’ll have to wait and see.