Nobody’s going to argue that The Simpsons has been in a steady state of decline for over two decades, but the show has been renewed for 33rd and 34th seasons, which is nothing short of incredible. It’s already the longest-running American animated series, sitcom and scripted primetime TV show ever in terms of both episode count and number of seasons, with the latest renewal taking it up to the 750-episode mark.
Springfield’s most famous residents have long since become a monolithic presence in popular culture, spawning a vast multimedia empire that generates billions of dollars on an annual basis. The latest brand synergy has seen The Simpsons cross over with their new corporate overlords at Disney, with The Force Awakens From Its Nap and The Good, The Bart and the Loki seeing Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie dive into the worlds of Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Despite such vast success spread out across almost 32 years, The Simpsons have only starred in one feature film, and even then the development process was torturous to say the least. In the summer of 2019, Matt Groening said he had no doubts that Disney would green light another movie eventually, but in a new interview longtime producer Al Jean admitted that he doesn’t want to see any potential follow up get sent straight to Disney Plus.
“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. 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 Plus.”
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The Simpsons Movie hauled in $536 million at the box office in 2007 to go down in the history books as the second highest-grossing hand-drawn animated movie in history behind only The Lion King, so there’s no doubts that a sequel would make a significant splash at the box office, even if the levels of critical acclaim greeting the iconic series have continued to dwindle.