Second Simpsons Movie & Family Guy Movie in Development

A new article in the Wall Street Journal about the fate of 20th Century Fox amid Disney’s takeover of the studio next year included an interesting nugget: Right now Fox is in development on both a second Simpsons movie as well as a Family Guy movie that will mix both animation with live action.

There were no more details beyond that, but it is tantalizing info. Unfortunately it is unknown whether or not either of these projects will make it past early development once the Mouse House takes over. The article confirms that Disney plans to finish and release all Fox films that are in production or post-production once they take over sometime next year, but there remains a huge question mark about in-development projects.

RELATED: The Simpsons Renewed to Become Longest-Running Scripted Series

The Simpsons Movie came out in the summer of 2007 and was a resounding hit at the box office and with critics, ultimately grossing $527 million worldwide. For years since the film came out Fox had asked producer James L. Brooks and the staff to come up with another movie, but they have continually balked at the prospect of doing so while the series is concurrently in production. That was the process for the first film, and despite the positive outcome the creatives involved insisted that it was too grueling to repeat.

”I’d say [it’s in] the very earliest stages,” Simpsons showrunner Al Jean teased Entertainment Weekly last year during the movie’s 10th anniversary. “I certainly am cautious about a couple things. I wouldn’t want it to be risky in terms of budget, and I would not want it to be anything that we did purely for the money. I would want it to be a really great movie. I personally feel no need for another one unless it’s great.”

Fox CEO Dana Walden recently doubled down on the network’s commitment to The Simpsons as a TV franchise, stating that, “There are no plans for them to go anywhere other than Fox,” and adding that “We have a couple years of episodes already in progress.” 

The Simpsons Season 30 is set to premiere on Sunday, September 30. Originally created by cartoonist Matt Groening (Futurama, Disenchantment) as interstitial cartoons for The Tracy Ullman Show, the Simpsons series debuted on the network in 1989, and it’s been one of Fox’s most important shows for three decades. It recently racked up 639 episodes, making it the largest number of episodes for any scripted television series ever, breaking the record previously set by Gunsmoke at 635.

A Family Guy movie was previously teased as far back as 2007, with creator Seth MacFarlane expressing the same quality concerns about making a movie during the series’ production. At the time MacFarlane also said he would like to find a small story about the Griffin family that can be explored in a feature-length film.

“I don’t want to do ‘The Griffins must save the world,’ ” he said.

The show premiered on January 31, 1999 and was actually cancelled by Fox in 2002. Following the popularity of reruns and DVD sales, the show was revived on the network in 2005 and has now run for 16 seasons. It later spawned a spinoff in 2009 titled The Cleveland Show, which ran for four seasons, as well as MacFarlane’s similarly-themed (though not directly related) American Dad! Next year Family Guy will celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Are you excited about a Family Guy movie or a second Simpsons movie? Which one would you rather see made? Let us know in the comments below!


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