The Simpsons producers confirm movie sequel & spinoff talks with Disney. Now on the verge of kicking off its 31st season, the beloved series has become a staple of American comedy, establishing itself far beyond being simply an animated TV program.
Through its recent acquisition of Fox's movie and TV assets, Disney has now become the owner of The Simpsons, and their significant amount of content. What this means for fans of the longest running scripted primetime series in American history is that when Disney launches its much anticipated streaming service Disney+ later this fall, all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available to watch. For many Simpsons fans this is a dream come true, but beyond having every Simpsons episode instantly accessible, another issue at the top of most fans' wish list is another feature-length film. It’s been twelve years since The Simpsons Movie was released, and since that time, a sequel has been a very intriguing prospect that the famed show’s producers still haven’t officially announced.
As Disney took the opportunity to show off its substantial degree of upcoming projects at this year’s D23 expo, the producers of The Simpsons were on hand to discuss what being part of the new family at Disney meant for the residents of Springfield. Fortunately for fans, the idea of a film sequel was briefly discussed, as well as the possibility of a Simpsons spinoff series at some point in the future. Variety reports that while speaking about the possibility of a film sequel, executive producer Al Jean, said that they “have talked about it” with Disney. Expanding on this, fellow Simpsons executive producer Matt Selman had the following to say:
“I think Disney would be supportive of anything we wanted to do, maybe a crazy limited series with a side character or a movie that we surprised you with, they’ve been really creatively supportive and this is going to afford so many new ways to do the show than just the traditional format.”
Previous news on a Simpsons movie sequel has been encouraging, with series creator Matt Groening having stated during this past summer’s SDCC that there will be a Simpsons movie sequel “one of these days”. That left a lot of room for conjecture among fans, but with Disney now in control of The Simpsons, they're likely going to want to get as much mileage out of the acclaimed franchise as possible. With regard to the spinoff idea that the producers hinted at during D23, it’s unclear what that could look like, though with the gigantic amount of characters that make up the cast of the current series, the potential does seem to be unlimited.
All in all, the future of The Simpsons seems strong and very healthy. And while the series has been known in the past to take the odd jab at Disney, the Mouse House is hopefully business savvy enough to know that the sometimes controversial nature of the series can’t be meddled with. If left to do what it does best, The Simpsons should find themselves immediately at home at Disney, with plenty of breathing room to create the things that fans are eagerly waiting to see.