The Simpsons Folder
A Big Screen Simpsons, at Last?
The Film Force, March 8, 2001 By KJB
Ever since the FOX network premiered The Simpsons back in December of 1989, rumors about a theatrical film have circulated in fan circles and the press. Unfortunately, they have usually proved to be little more than just that – rumors. Creator Matt Groening has said on a number of occasions that a Simpsons would happen at some point but probably not until the series finally ended its run on the network.
FOX The Simpsons – busting out of a movie screen in your town in the near future?
Entering its 13th season (with no signs of stopping), FOX may be re-thinking the “wait for it to end its network run” strategy. With the success of the South Park film (produced while that series was at the height of its popularity) and the Simpsons franchise rising again in popularity, FOX (never one to let a good franchise quietly slip away) is once again looking at the denizens of Springfield and asking if a move into the movie houses is possible.
“Our biggest problem is what do to in a film that couldn’t be or hasn’t been done on the series,” an anonymous source at FOX told IGN FilmForce recently. “A number of ideas are being floated around, some interesting and some downright awful. The most interesting idea to me is one that would make The Simpsons the core of an animation revival at FOX.”
An animation revival at FOX? The last time we heard that kind of statement was right before Titan A.E. was released. Its box office (or lack thereof) nearly destroyed FOX’s animation department. Their next big project is 2002’s Ice Age so just where would The Simpsons fit in? Our source elaborates:
“The major concern is that a Simpsons story wouldn’t be able to sustain an 80 to 90 minute film. Bart and Homer are definitely funnier in small doses which brought some of us to the idea of doing Simpsons short films. The Simpsons have developed such a rich universe that you could easily do a series of shorts that would run with FOX films in release. The beauty of The Simpsons is that you can write funny 3 1/2 minute bits that would run before G & PG films while you could have others that would be tailored for PG-13 and R.
“It’s also very attractive to advertisers as we’ve seen with the Butterfinger [ad] campaign. So the studio makes its money not from ticket sales but from advertising & product placement. One of the ideas kicked around even had a whole bit talking about the upcoming FOX releases. Under this plan, the studio would release a DVD of the collected shorts once a year or so, which would make them even more money.”
Hmmm…. the revival of the short feature before the films? In a lot of theaters, we’re getting video projected commercials so why not? I’d rather be entertained by Bart and the gang while trying to sell me a Butterfinger or some other item than another one of those commercials begging me to join the Marines. Hey, maybe they could have an ad with McBain trying to get us to join the Marines…
It should be noted that this is by far not a done deal. A number of ideas are being considered, according to our source, but this one just seemed so interesting, our source thought they just had to share it. Myself, I’m certainly intrigued.