It took two decades to get the Simpsons to the silver screen. And while the film was a critical and commercial hit, that doesn’t mean we’ll see Homer, Marge, Bart and company on the silver screen again any time soon.
Saying that the first feature film “killed us,” series creator Matt Groening says the follow-up isn’t a priority for the creative team at this time.
“It took us four years [to make] and it killed us,” Groening said Saturday at UCLA’s annual entertainment symposium, where he sat for a keynote Q&A with longtime Simpsonsproducer-director David Silverman. The movie “stole animators from the show,” Groening said, and drained other resources. “Maybe another 10, 15 years” Silverman added.
The series continues to do well and is closing in on a quarter of a century on the air. And while the show is quick to poke fun at its parent network Fox, Groening and Silverman were quick to give credit to the outlet for taking a chance on a prime-time animated series twenty plus years ago.
“We were in the right place at the right time,” he said of the show’s launch on the then-fledgling Fox network in 1990. Fox was willing to take a chance and greenlight an animated series unlike anything else on TV. Now, Groening said, when networks attempt to dabble in animation, “they always try to water it down and soften it up, and that doesn’t work.”
Groening said the show’s longevity is due to the versatility of the core characters and the expansive universe its writers have created. “We’ve got 400 or 500 characters, and about 50 per episode,” he said, and he’s worked to make sure the show’s offbeat sensibility is kept consistent in its licensing and marketing.