Will There Be A Sequel To The Simpsons Movie? Here's What We Know

Since its debut on "The Tracey Ullman Show" in 1987, "The Simpsons" has gone on to make television history. Thanks to 33 seasons consisting of 714 episodes, the animated series created by Matt Groening has become the longest running American animated series, American sitcom, and overall American scripted primetime TV series of all time. But after years of domination on the small screen, Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie finally made the jump to the big screen in 2007 with "The Simpsons Movie."

Embraced by both fans and critics alike, the movie directed by David Silverman of "Monsters, Inc." fame became the second highest grossing traditionally animated film of all time (just behind "The Lion King") and the highest grossing film based on an animated television series. With such high accolades like that, it would be a no-brainier to produce a sequel, right? As of this writing, it hasn't been officially announced. However, that doesn't mean that someone isn't working on it.

Here's what we know about a follow up to "The Simpsons Movie."

It's Probably Happening

Over the past few years, the topic of another movie starring the citizens of Springfield has come up a lot. Since the team behind "The Simpsons" has been rolling out shorts on Disney+, showrunner Al Jean has been out promoting them. Inevitably, the question about another movie comes up in almost every interview. And the short answer is almost always, "Yes, I think it's gonna happen."

But the much longer answer involves the logistics. While speaking to NME, Jean mentioned that there is a massive amount of work that goes into creating a movie and TV show at the same time. "We're cursed by high ratings. We're still on the air as a TV show and that takes up a lot of time. I worked on the [first] movie simultaneous to the show, and it nearly killed the animators," said the producer.

That's part of the reason why it took so many years to get a film adaptation of "The Simpsons" in the theaters in the first place. Despite the desire early on in the show's run by Groening and company to take on a feature-length story, they could never step away for the show long enough to do things right. And when they eventually did start to get the ball rolling in 2001, the team wanted to put their best foot forward as a way to honor everyone that contributed to the show throughout its history. The creator expressed this sentiment in an interview with Coming Soon:

"In a way, if every episode of "The Simpsons" is a celebration, which we try to make it, then the movie is like a big celebration. It's a way of honoring the animators, allowing them to really strut their stuff and really go as far as they can with the art of the handwritten gesture. It's a way of honoring the writers, because we were able to get the best all-star writers of "The Simpsons" and write our hearts out, and it's a way of honoring all the great actors – Dan Castellaneta as Homer, Julie Kavner as Marge and all the rest. They really got their opportunities to do some great acting."

It's Not A Sequel

In addition to finding the time to work on another movie, the team is still searching for the right story. While speaking to /Film in 2020, Jean shared that breaking the story for the second movie isn't any easier than the first time around:

 "We would only do it if it was an idea that we thought deserved being made into another movie. We certainly don't need to have more Simpsons out there just for the money or to have additional material. We would do it if we thought it was a great story and we wanted to tell it." 

He followed that up by definitively stating that the next movie, whenever it may come together, would definitely be a standalone story rather than a direct sequel. Considering how hard it is for the team to pull together the right story, it makes sense that they don't want to stay beholden to the events of the first film. After all, they already have to consider the long history of the show and its characters. No need to further complicate things story-wise.

But even if it's not a sequel, fingers crossed that Spider-Pig makes a comeback.

It Will Probably Be Released Theatrically

Though things sound like they're moving rather slowly, Jean told ComicBook.com that progress had actually started to pick up again recently. However, as with most things in the world over the past two years, the pandemic slowed everything down:

"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."

With movie theaters reopening again recently (many requiring vaccination in order to enter), there's a chance that talks for the follow up to "The Simpsons Movie" can resume once again. Although, it's hard to say when we'll reach that ideal circumstance for a theatrical release again since new strains of the virus are still being uncovered.

But if you're desperate for more "Simpsons" ahead of another movie, worry not. The series isn't showing any signs of slowing down since it was renewed for a 33rd and 34th season in March 2021.