The Simpsons Crew Isn't Ready For A New Movie Yet, Maybe Because The First One Gave Them PTSD [D23]

Disney's D23 Expo is taking over the weekend, and /Film's Dalin Rowell is there on the ground today reporting back on the latest and greatest news from the animation giant's lineup of shows and movies. The latest comes from the panel from the long-running Fox series "The Simpsons," which also included a faux announcement for the Simpson Cinematic Universe. Despite the extensive Marvel parody, the rest of the panel makes it sound like "The Simpsons" may still be sticking with the small screen for a while longer.

In a wide-ranging discussion that also included insights into the show's future guest stars and a super-sized Treehouse of Horror special, the team declined to confirm whether or not more "Simpsons" movies are on the horizon. The topic came up when actor Yeardley Smith, who plays Lisa and moderated the panel, asked writer Tim Long how it feels to watch old episodes of the show. "I definitely divide it into shows that I work on and shows that I didn't work on. The ones that I didn't work on seem perfect, and the ones that I did work on bring back PTSD," Long said.

"You know what has the most PTSD for me?" longtime "Simpsons" writer Matt Selman added, before answering, "The movie." Despite 33 seasons on the air, "The Simpsons" series has only ever led to one movie, in 2007. "The Simpsons Movie" became the second-highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all time (bested only by "The Lion King"), but it was also a herculean task for writers, animators, and the rest of the production team. Selman was one of 11 writers who worked on the film's script.

"We had something that had been on 17 years and so many people had so much invested in it emotionally, and you felt like the potential for disappointment was huge," writer-producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly for the film's 10th anniversary. At today's event, Jean joked that he forgot they made a movie.

The Simpson Cinematic Universe?

Earlier in the panel, Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) appeared on screen to jokingly announce the Simpson Cinematic Universe – beginning with phase 5. The poster reveals for fake projects like "Iron Moe," "SelmaVision," and a Bart's-bare-bottom starring "Moon Knight" earned plenty of laughs from the audience, but the bit ended with Homer enthusiastically answering a call from an off-screen Kevin Feige, only to find out that the whole SCU was canceled. So it was no surprise when Smith later took Jean's comment about 'The Simpsons Movie" as a jumping off point to ask the question on everyone's mind: Will there be any more movies?

"Let's keep that under wraps for now," Selman answered, before the conversation quickly moved on. While his comment could just be a very deadpan callback to the SCU bit, it could also mean there really are future plans for another "Simpsons" movie in the works. This would make sense, given that "The Simpsons" is now a part of the Disney catalogue, which has opened up even more guest star and crossover opportunities for the series than it previously had. Plus, it's been 15 years since the last "Simpsons" movie, which is a nice, round, sequel-friendly number if ever there was one. For now, though, it sounds like the team isn't in a major rush to announce a second "Simpsons" movie.

"The Simpsons" returns to Fox this September 25, 2022.