Get ready to toast your Flaming Moes to some excellent news.
The Simpsons movie is off the drawing board and in preproduction.
“You know what? We’ve just done the table read for The Simpsons movie, so although we’ve been promoting that we’re going to do it, now we’re actually doing it and are in production,” Nancy Cartwright, who gives voice to Bart Simpson, told BBC Radio 1 this week.
Cartwright, in London doing publicity for her one-woman show, My Life as a Ten-Year-Old Boy, indicated that the movie is still in the preliminary script development stage and it will take at least two years before it’s fully animated and ready for release.
“I don’t know the name of it, and I can’t go into details about it, and we’ll just have to see how it goes, but I think it’s going to be great and the fans are going to dig it,” she added.
Producers had always indicated that the movie would likely debut after the TV show ran its course. But with the show continuing to perform well, averaging about 10 million viewers last season, the Simpsons brain trust decided to move forward now, according to a rep for 20th Century Fox, which will distribute the Simpsons film.
“They are working on hammering out a script, but there’s no title or production date or release date,” studio spokeswoman Antonia Coffman told E! Online Wednesday. “We always wanted the show to end first but it just keeps going. Now they’ve worked out a team to simultaneously do both the film and show.”
Rumors of a Simpsons movie seem to surface every few years, usually sparked by the ‘toon’s mastermind, Matt Groening, which then sends long-time Homer honks into a frenzy of anticipation. But such talk turned out to be premature in the past as Groening and fellow executive producers James L. Brooks and Al Jean chose to wait for the show to wind down.
The closest The Simpsons has come to the big screen was a computer-generated Homer cameo for the 2000 IMAX 3-D flick, CyberWorld.
Coffman says that there are still many details to iron out before the feature kicks into high gear, including who’s going to do the animation–Film Roman, which has done so since the TV series’ inception, or another production house.
This fall will see The Simpsons embark on season 17. Fox and show producers foresee the cartoon cast fulfilling its current contract, which runs through a 19th season.