The team behind The Simpsons has been teasing a sequel to The Simpsons Movie for years. In fact, they began teasing it in the movie itself, as Maggie took out her pacifier and said the word “sequel” while the end credits rolled.
Earlier this year, Disney acquired ownership of The Simpsons franchise in a merger with 21st Century Fox. Series creator Matt Groening has said, “No doubt there will be another Simpsons movie one of these days. I think Disney wants something for its money.” A sequel is seeming more and more likely. So, here are 10 Ideas For A Simpsons Movie Sequel.
10 A disaster movie
The first movie adaptation of The Simpsons tackled the Stephen King novel Under the Dome, so maybe the sequel could go bigger and bolder with a full-on disaster. Whether Springfield is facing a hurricane or an earthquake or a volcano – or even a new Ice Age courtesy of climate change, a la The Day After Tomorrow – it would be fun to see the Simpson family in a disaster movie.
The best disaster movies are character-focused, using extraordinary circumstances to bring out personality traits and hidden secrets that wouldn’t normally rear their heads. This would be great with The Simpsons’ characters.
9 Marge runs for Mayor of Springfield
It would be interesting to see a sequel to The Simpsons Movie take a sharp political bent, playing like a zanier, animated take on a movie like Wag the Dog or The Candidate.
It would also be cool to see Marge take center stage, a little like how Incredibles 2 put the spotlight on Helen after focusing on Bob the first time. So, a fun storyline could see Marge running for Mayor of Springfield after Quimby has run unopposed for re-election for decades. She’s always speaking up in town hall meetings, so it’s plausible, and Lisa could be her campaign manager.
8 The family is given a time machine
Professor Frink has been known to create all kinds of wild inventions in The Simpsons, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for him to create a time machine in a movie sequel. Somehow, this time machine would have to end up in the hands of the Simpsons, whether they wander into it accidentally at a convention and then struggle to get back to the present day or Frink wants them to test its functionality from a laypeople’s perspective.
Obviously, The Simpsons had a lot of fun with time travel and the idea of altering the present by changing the past in the Treehouse of Horror segment “Time and Punishment,” but a feature-length movie could explore the premise in a lot more depth.
7 Bart Simpson’s Day Off
A parody of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with Bart, Milhouse, and Lisa ditching school to come of age would be a lot of fun. Principal Skinner would be chasing Bart all day.
The main characters’ dynamic would have to be tweaked. Bart would be the Ferris, Milhouse would be the Cameron, and Lisa would be the Sloan, but Milhouse and Lisa would be the love interests and Lisa would be the one who was reluctant to ditch. This one might be better as an episode than a feature-length movie, but there’s probably enough there to get to movie length since John Hughes managed it in 1985 and it would involve every major character in some way.
6 A road trip movie
Road trip movies can be great for character development because the journey presents a framework for an emotional journey. Real-life road trips don’t usually lead to startling revelations about our lives or our relationships, but in movies, they do. If a sequel to The Simpsons Movie revolved around a road trip, it could lead to interesting developments with the family dynamic.
The first movie did have a road trip as a story thread, with Homer taking the family to Alaska to start their lives fresh, but this would be more heavily focused on the journey, like National Lampoon’s Vacation, hopefully avoiding the genre’s clichés.
5 The definitive future storyline
The Simpsons has done a bunch of episodes exploring the characters’ future. Some of these episodes have been incredible, like “Lisa’s Wedding” or the recent “Days of Future Passed,” which some fans felt could’ve been the series finale, but others have been awful, like “Bart to the Future.”
The best future stories avoid gimmicks like making Milhouse a recovering zombie and focus on how the characters’ choices formed who they would become. The Simpsons Movie 2 could finally clear up the timeline and give us the definitive future story, telling us where Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie will all end up.
4 Grampa suffers a health scare
This idea would be more thoughtful than absurdist, but The Simpsons is, at its core, the story of a family, and that’s the root of its longevity. A sequel to The Simpsons Movie could revolve around the characters themselves, with more grounded external forces.
If the movie begins with Grampa having a health scare, then it could lead to the family taking stock of their relationships with one another and evaluating their life choices and seizing the day. It could be like The Royal Tenenbaums or The Meyerowitz Stories, but with the Simpson family. As a feature-length movie, it could explore that stuff more deeply than any episode could.
3 Swiss Family Simpson
In a pastiche of Swiss Family Robinson, this idea would see the Simpson family out in the middle of the ocean, possibly on a cruise ship. They’d somehow fall off the ship or end up in a lifeboat and wash up on a desert island. This could end up being as misguided and terrible as Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, but it could similarly end up being a comedic version of Cast Away.
In most of these survival stories, the cabin fever of being stranded on a desert island brings out the primal psychology of the characters. This would be endlessly fun to do with the Simpson family.
2 A musical
For a sequel to The Simpsons Movie to impress audiences as much as the first one did after all this time, it’ll have to go above and beyond. It can’t just be as good as the original; it has to transcend what the original did. What 22 Jump Street did for the formula and tone established in 21 Jump Street is an example of this.
One way for The Simpsons Movie 2 to distinguish itself from the original would be to change the genre entirely and make a musical film. A musical worked out well for the South Park movie. (Not that this should rip off the South Park movie – thanks to Damien Chazelle, film musicals are completely different now, so it could have an entirely different style.)
1 A meta commentary on the Disney merger
The Simpsons has never shied away from saying it as it is. Disney’s recent acquisition of the show in a goliath studio merger is just one more notch in the Mouse House’s belt. It’s acquired Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars – soon, it’ll be running the world.
The Simpsons Movie 2 could include a meta-commentary on the Disney/Fox merger, with Springfield getting bought out by a corporation (possibly the corporation owned by Mr. Burns, the town’s resident unscrupulous business tycoon) that turns it into a ‘50s-style “company town.” Of course, there’s no doubt that Disney execs would instantly veto this concept.