Here’s the thing about any movie that comes after an original. It can be a standalone, but people are always going to default and say ‘part two’ or ‘sequel’. With the next Simpsons movie it’s likely going to be the same even if, as B. Alan Orange of MovieWeb is stating, it’s not bound to be a direct sequel. Let’s be fair and say that it’s largely because Disney didn’t own Fox, and thereby the Simpsons, when the first movie came out, so they’re hoping to put their own stamp on it like usual. But instead of making it a cash grab as so many other things have been in the recent past, Disney is at least trying to make something unique and worthwhile considering that they don’t want to give people the same thing over and over. Yes, I realize how ironic that sounds but there are times when it’s genuine. It is a little confusing as to how it’s taken so long to even get to the point where anyone is willing to say that ‘yes, it will happen’, since despite the massive growth and large number of projects being rolled out, one might think that Disney could at least start working on this project a little sooner. Of course thinking would be the first mistake. Disney does things in their own time obviously and from what it sounds like this movie might not reach the public for a while yet since there’s a debate now on whether or not it will come to the big screen or straight to Disney+.
The streaming network has continued to grow and improve upon its list of programs and movies since launching back in November, but it would almost feel like a mistake to put another Simpsons movie on the site no matter when it happens. Thirteen years is a long enough time for people to have waited for another movie to come to the big screen, though one has to wonder if Disney is intending to keep them waiting long enough to possibly forget most of the first movie so that their own version would be the accepted one. That might sound a little paranoid but it’s also likely since the term ‘standalone’ is evidence enough at this point that Disney doesn’t really want its movie being considered a continuation of the first one. There’s likely a reason for this but since the rumor mill starts running the moment an idea is formed one can only imagine what people are thinking. The Simpsons has been such a beloved series for so long that it’s a bit difficult to think that anyone would try to keep something like another movie from hitting the theaters once again since from a business standpoint it could only serve to make Disney even more money if they were to roll out another movie. But then again, so much has been done on the Simpsons that trying to find a truly unique and innovative idea might take some time to accomplish.
Still, Disney has the writers, it has the manpower, and it definitely has the resources, so simply reverting back the idea of ‘when the right script comes along’ is a cop-out that’s become a little tiresome for a corporation that has way too much pull and way too much money not to accomplish something that might net them even more. One might be paranoid enough to think that they simply don’t want to develop this property for fear of how people might react, but again it’s a tired argument since Disney is such a powerhouse at this point that trying to justify not moving forward with any of their projects tends to look like laziness, not a reluctance to make a cash grab. Zack Sharf of IndieWire has more to say on the matter. Thirteen years is a long enough time for someone to have come up with an idea for another script that could work. Even the length of time that Disney has owned Fox would be a long enough time, though the lengthy and sometimes very tedious process of writing a script somehow manages to put the kibosh on a lot of movies that might otherwise be made in a very reasonable amount of time. Whether we’ll see another Simpsons movie in this decade or not is kind of questionable since far too often studios will want to wait and make sure that they have a script they approve of, regardless of whether or not it’s what the people want.
The first Simpsons movie was definitely well-liked and received positive reviews, so is Disney afraid they can’t live up to what Fox managed to do over a decade ago? It feels funny to think that the Mouse House would be afraid of a less than stellar release, especially since they’ve had their ups and downs throughout the years. But hopefully we’ll see another Simpsons movie eventually.