With The Simpsons now the property of Disney, the show's producers were on hand at the D23 Expo to speak about the long-running series. Under new leadership, executive producer Al Jean says their new bosses have been very supportive about possible ways to expand the Simpsons universe. When asked about doing a sequel to The Simpsons Movie, Jeans confirms they "have talked about it" with Disney. Additionally, exec producer Matt Selman also elaborated the possibility of doing a new movie or even a spin-off series.
"I think Disney would be supportive of anything we wanted to do, maybe a crazy limited series with a side character or a movie that we surprised you with, they've been really creatively supportive and this is going to afford so many new ways to do the show than just the traditional format."
While it remains to be seen what will ultimately come from the show's partnership with Disney, Jean and Selman clearly seem confident they're in good hands. Disney can also look back at the success of The Simpsons Movie when it was released in 2007, as it grossed over $527 million at the box office. It's also worth noting that the House of Mouse is looking to include as much exclusive content as possible for their upcoming Disney+ streaming service, and a new Simpsons movie or spin-off series would certainly be a selling point for big fans of the series.
Also at D23 came the official word that the controversial character Apu will remain on the series. When asked directly if they plan on keeping Apu on The Simpsons moving forward, series creator Matt Groening confirms that they will, adding that they're "proud" of the character. Apu hasn't been used prominently on the series since the release of the documentary The Trouble with Apu, which criticized the character for being insensitive to Indian-Americans and their representation on television. It began to appear we would never see the Kwik-E-Mart owner on the series again, but Simpsons fans can now look forward to seeing more of Apu.
After the characters were first featured on The Tracey Ullman Show, The Simpsons first began airing on Fox in 1989. Nobody could have predicted the success the series would ultimately achieve as it has since solidified itself as one of pop culture's most beloved television shows of all time. The series has now aired 662 episodes over the span of 30 seasons, breaking many TV records in the process. Still there's no sign of the franchise slowing down anytime soon, as it's already been renewed for seasons 31 and 32. As we can also tell from the news coming out of D23, we could in fact even see The Simpsons further expand into alternate mediums.
The Simpsons has gotten a lot of criticism in recent years for a perceived decline in quality, yet the series remains very popular with its fan base. Still, for those who no longer watch the show but remember the classic episodes fondly, every episode ever will soon be available to stream on Disney+. The news from D3 comes to us from Variety.