‘The Simpsons’ Just Aired an Episode That Was Almost ‘The Simpsons Movie 2’
‘The Simpsons’ is old. It’s been airing on Fox since 1989; 26 seasons of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie and counting. For point of reference, for something to have been in its 26th season on the air in 1989, it would have had to debut in 1963, the year President Kennedy was assassinated. The show’s longevity is just insane.
In that time, ‘The Simpsons’ has never been off the air, but it has jumped into other mediums: Comics, video games, theme-park rides, and, in 2007, a movie that became an enormous box-office smash, grossing more than $527 million worldwide. The series’ ratings have dipped in recent years, but it’s still a dependable part of the Fox Sunday lineup, and its creators have discussed the possibility of making a ‘Simpsons Movie 2,’ because that is what you do when a movie makes half a billion dollars internationally.
Series executive producer James L. Brooks talked about the chance of another movie movie last October, and in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, another ‘Simpsons’ producer, Al Jean, reveals that they’d even earmarked a story idea as a potential subject of ‘The Simpsons Movie 2.’ But eventually they decided to turn it into a regular episode: “The Man Who Would Be Dinner,” which just aired a few weeks ago on Fox.
The show saw the Simpsons abducted by aliens Kang and Kodos and taken to their home planet of Rigel 7, where they’re almost eaten. Jean explains why this story had sequel potential, and why they ultimately didn’t use it that way:
“Two of the allures were exploring the rules of the new world and the cinematic nature of doing something in space ... But then we were worried that people might think it’s an idea that’s not canonical—it doesn’t really happen, unlike all of other 560 episodes that really ‘happened’—so the ultimate decision was to air it as an episode. It just got to the point where if we were unsure about it as a movie, then it would be good to air the episode ... So if you want to know what was thought of a possible ‘Simpsons Movie 2,’ we just aired it—for free. You can see it for free!”
‘The Simpsons Movie 2’ isn’t dead; Jean says there’s a “50-50” chance it still happens. The biggest obstacle, apparently, is simply finding the time to make a movie while simultaneously continuing the TV series. He did admit though that they don’t have any other percolating ideas for that second movie. My suggestion: a version of ‘I, Frankenstein’ with all the Simpsons characters called ‘I, Simpsonstein.’ That can’t miss (at least with me).