The Simpsons

Could it work as a movie?

TV hit “The Simpsons” heads to the big screen — Doh!
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Homer, Bart and the zany cast of the hit animated television series “The Simpsons” could finally become Hollywood stars, with plans for a big-screen version of their antics in the offing.
The industry press said Wednesday the creators of the show, now in its 15th year and poised to become the longest-running sitcom in US history next year, were working on a “Simpsons” feature film for Twentieth Century Fox studios.
Writers and creators Matt Groening and James Brooks are leading a team of writers in developing a full-length screenplay, while the studio has already hired key writers, Daily Variety said.
Twentieth Century Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch, whose Fox television channel runs the “Simpsons” series, said it was “very excited about the possibility of making a ‘Simpsons’ movie.”
“However, we are in the very early stages of developing an idea for the movie,” said the studio’s animation chief, Chris Meledandri.
Variety said that at least seven past and present writers of “The Simpsons” were involved in the movie.
Plans for a big-screen feature version of the globally syndicated “Simpsons” have been talked about in Hollywood for more than a decade, but Groening and his team have been very careful about over-exploiting the super-successful franchise, Variety said.
One of the show’s writers, Mike Reiss, told that the final impetus for launching the world’s most famous animated dysfunctional family onto the silver screen came from the studio.
“They’ve wanted to do this since season two. It’s been 13 years of wanting to do the ‘Simpsons’ movie,” Reiss said.
“Finally Fox said, ‘Let’s just do it!’ We never had the greatest idea that was compelling, but Fox said, ‘Maybe if we start paying you, you’ll get inspired.’ And sure enough, it worked!”
Variety said no release schedule had yet been set for the planned movie but that it was likely to be at least two years before it enters movie theatres.
The show and its characters — who include dad Homer, the mischievous Bart, his sisters Lisa and Maggie and their mother, Marge — have generated pithy comedy while also tackling or pillorying sensitive social or political issues.
Its more than 300 episodes have frequently caused outrage, including one infamous episode portraying adoption and poverty in Brazil that prompted a protest from the city of Rio de Janeiro, which threatened to sue.
Former US vice president Dan Quayle was mercilessly ribbed by Groening and his team — in the guise of Bart — in 1992, after he notoriously misspelled the world “potato” during a visit to an elementary school.
Other barbs have included cultural and religious jabs, political jibes, pokes at industrialists and rampant capitalism, swipes at top sports personalities and more than the occasional attack on the French, who were dubbed “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” by one of the show’s characters.