If Gravity Falls Were To Return, It Wouldn't Be As A TV Show

The supernatural misadventures of twins Mabel and Dipper Pines first graced our screens back in 2012, when "Gravity Falls" premiered on the Disney Channel. On that fateful evening, kids and adults alike would get their first glimpse of a series that would only grow in popularity from then on, becoming weirder, funnier, and more mysterious with each passing episode. If you haven't had the pleasure of indulging in the show yet, it's available to stream on Hulu and Disney+, where you can fully embrace conspiracy as the Pines twins spend a summer in the fictional town of Gravity Falls, Oregon, with their great-uncle "Grunkle" Stan, who owns a local tourist trap.

The premise of "Gravity Falls" is simple enough: 12-year-old Dipper is an adventurer at heart, always searching for a mystery to solve, and Mabel is a hyperactive optimist with her own brand of fearless curiosity. Both together and apart, they get up to all sorts of hijinks throughout the summer, befriending a number of quirky residents along the way. And when I say hijinks, I'm not just talking about the drama of first crushes and new friendships — these two quickly uncover a number of paranormal threats and complicated conspiracies that eventually culminate in a mission to save the world from a terrifying inter-dimensional being. Ya know, typical cartoon summer vacation stuff.

Between that killer premise and the show's penchant for balancing sci-fi, mystery, and child-appropriate horror with a hilarious sense of humor, it's no surprise  that love for this show continues to persist a decade after it first arrived. Though aimed at kids, "Gravity Falls" had no trouble winning over older teens and adults as the mysteries behind its plot were slowly revealed. But sadly, the show only actually ran for two seasons before coming to a close.

The short life of Gravity Falls

While the "Gravity Falls" series finale came as a shock to many viewers, it wasn't a case of Disney pulling the plug before the creatives were ready to say goodbye. Series creator Alex Hirsch announced the news himself (via a Tumblr post) with the clarifying note, "the show isn't being canceled — it's being finished." He went on to explain:

"I always designed 'Gravity Falls' to be a finite series about one epic summer — a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are canceled before they ever get a chance to payoff. But I wanted 'Gravity Falls' to have a mystery that had a real answer, an adventure that had a real climax, and an ending that had a real conclusion for the characters I care so much about. "

If you think that stopped fans from pestering him (for an entire decade) about whether or not the show would return, then think again. To his credit, Hirsch has gotten pretty funny with his responses, though maintains that the goal was to wrap up the mystery and the two-season arc got that done. But that doesn't mean that all hope is lost. The world presented in "Gravity Falls" is so much bigger and weirder than the two seasons could possibly cover, which means the window is still open for a return. The question is, would Hirsch be up for more?

Back in 2016, Hirsch told TV Insider, "Right now, I'm content with where it is, but I can't say what Future Alex may do." Well, now that Future Alex is amongst us, what's the status of a potential "Gravity Falls" season 3?

Gravity Falls could return ... in a new medium

The answer is... tentative. Last year, Hirsch sat down with Inverse and revealed that he has in fact considered returning to "Gravity Falls," but not in the way you might expect.

"I love exploring different mediums with these characters. My dream, if I had a magic wand, would be to make a really kick-ass 'Gravity Falls' video game that is really, really in-depth to the lore of the series and includes new canon that has been in the periphery of the series, but I've never found a place for it."

Standing in the way of that is the issue of rights and corporate decision-making, since "Gravity Falls" remains Disney's IP. Hirsch explained that ultimately it's not up to him. And it doesn't help that the company has all but shuttered its interactive department.

"I've never had the chance to really get my hands in a video game space for these characters. This is one of the things where I regret that I don't own 'Gravity Falls.' Cause if I did, I would pair up with a sick indie studio and make the world's greatest 'Gravity Falls' game. Because I don't own 'Gravity Falls,' it's up to Disney to decide what they do with that IP, and they don't seem super savvy about video games right now."

This isn't the first time that "Gravity Falls" has been wronged by corporate structure: when the series ended in 2016, Hirsch was also in talks about a possible feature film with the characters, which ultimately fell through when Disney decided that the show wasn't popular enough (via The Mary Sue). To which Hirsch said: "But if some lunatic wanted to give me 50 million dollars to make a Gravity Falls movie I'd probably do it!" 

You heard him, folks, let the crowdfunding begin!