Disney was interested in making The Simpsons Movie 2. Then the pandemic happened. This, according to longtime showrunner Al Jean, who confirms that discussions were happening at the studio about making another big-screen adventure centered on Springfield's most famous family. Whether or not that discussions come back around depends entirely on how well movie theaters recover in the coming months.
Al Jean is currently promoting The Good, The Bart, and The Loki, a new Simpsons short released as a tie-in to Loki, which is currently airing on Disney+. During a recent interview, Jean addressed the possibility of a sequel to The Simpsons Movie. Here's what he had to say about it.
"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. I'm going to movies, I'm vaccinated. I'm really rooting for the movie industry, but I want to see what, personally, the landscape is. And then they also have so many great movies, I think they have five Avatar movies, five Star Wars movies in waiting ... so they have a lot to roll out and we're going to go see Black Widow this weekend. I'm going to support the theater, even though I have Disney+."
There is much to unpack there. For one, Al Jean doesn't want to do another cinematic adventure with The Simpsons unless it can be released in theaters. And that makes sense, as The Simpsons Movie was special because it was a theatrical experience. The show can be watched any time in the streaming era. The show is available in its entirety on Disney+.
As for the recovery of the box office, it has been slow but sure. F9, Godzilla vs. Kong and A Quiet Place Part II have all done well. Black Widow is also expected to make a killing this weekend. But what about animated movies? Both Pixar's Soul and Luca debuted directly on Disney+. The Mitchells vs. the Machines skipped theaters and was sold to Netflix. The Boss Baby 2 has yet to make a huge impact. Disney would need to see that animated movies can still take in enough at the box office to justify something like this.
The Simpsons Movie was released in 2007. It was a tremendous hit, taking in $536 million at the global box office. For what it's worth, series creator Matt Groening did say in 2019 at San Diego Comic-Con that a sequel would definitely happen at some point. It seems that point was drawing near. 2020 had other plans. Fans can only hope things improve enough for the conversation to come back around. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. This news comes to us via Comicbook.com.