We Might Get a ‘Simpsons Movie’ Sequel, Depending on Disney’s Summer Box Office

Al Jean says that he and the rest of the ‘Simpsons’ writers are pulling for a strong summer from ‘Inside Out 2’
We Might Get a ‘Simpsons Movie’ Sequel, Depending on Disney’s Summer Box Office

O.G. Simpsons writer and current co-showrunner Al Jean will be one of the hopefully many theater-goers to see Inside Out 2 on opening weekend. It beats being inside the Dome.

When The Simpsons Movie premiered in 2007, it surprised nearly everyone — critics anticipating (or even hoping for) a creatively bankrupt cash grab from a franchise in decline were shocked to find the long-awaited feature length film to be artistically inspired and reminiscent of the early days of the show. Simpsons fans were surprised that the writers managed to make the largest-scale Simpsons storyline to date without going off-the-walls bonkers like many of the show’s far-fetched episodes at the time. And, of course, Matt Groening, Jean and the rest of the remaining Simpsons lifers were amazed to learn that the little cartoon they’d launched 17 years ago could go on to become the second highest-grossing animated movie of all time with a whopping $536 million return at the box office.

This summer, Disney desperately needs its next major animated feature to see a similar smashing success as The Simpsons Movie after duds like last year’s Wish shook shareholders’ faith in the animation giant’s ability to keep cranking out classics. Basically, next month’s Inside Out 2 needs to be a big hit if Disney is ever even going to consider making a second Simpsons Movie, so said Jean in a recent Screen Rant interview in much more judicious terms. 

During the conversation, Jean admitted that no official discussions between the Simpsons creatives and their Disney overlords on the topic of a Simpsons Movie sequel have occurred, though he and the rest of the writers have been pulling for an encore ever since the first film’s success. “I think it’s a bigger issue than The Simpsons,” Jean said of the odds that Disney will ever pull the trigger on another Simpsons Movie. “On several levels, we’re really hoping for Inside Out 2 to do great this summer.”

Jean said that societal factors have been working against his sequel effort, explaining, “I want to see the animation business completely returned to what it was before the pandemic. And then, I think if that was the case, it would make sense to do The Simpsons theatrically.” Even if animation does rebound, Jean said, it still might not be enough to get a green light. “I understand that it’s an issue above me about, ‘Where would you release it? And how would you release it?’”

“I love seeing animated movies in theaters,” Jean gushed. “I loved The Boy and the Heron that just won the Oscar, I’ll always go see the Miyazaki movies that come out.” Jean wants seat-fillers like Hayao Miyazaki’s “last” movie to prove that The Simpsons Movie 2 could hack it on the big screen, saying, “I really am all for animation being fully theatrical, so I hope that’s where it goes.”

Ultimately, however, there are too many factors outside of Jean and the rest of the Simpsons writers’ control to claim that a strong summer for animation will move the needle at all for The Simpsons Movie 2’s chancesafter all, we’d all still be relying on the goodwill of an evil corporation.


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