The Simpsons Creator and Cast Offer Sneak Peek at New Season at D23 Expo
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
August 24, 2019
Thanks to last year's merger between Fox and Disney, 'The Simpsons' have moved to their new home Mouse House and it appears the series creator, Matt Groening, and the rest of the cast couldn't be happier with the move.
Matt Groening, executive producer, Al Jean, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), writer/producer Matt Selman, writer/producer Mike Anderson were joined by Yeardly Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) who moderated the panel at the D23 Expo on Saturday, offering fans a look at the past and the future of the longest-running animated series of all-time.
The panel began with a short clip reel 'honoring' some of 'The Simpsons' most famous moments from the show parodying their new, "corporate overlords" as producer Al Jean put it. The reel showed scenes from the show's run that spoofed Disney favorites like the Seven Dwarfs, Mary Poppins, and the classic, Steamboat Willie cartoon that marked Mickey Mouse's debut.
"Isn't this the craziest thing you could imagine, that we would start out working for an evil corporation and then working for a nice one?" Selman asked the audience with a grin.
Thanks to a bit of corporate synergy, Yeardley announced that in addition to the huge line-up of shows coming to Disney+, every episode of the 'The Simpsons' would also be available for streaming beginning on Nov. 12.
Fans at the panel on Saturday also got a sneak peek of this year's 'Treehouse of Horror,' the 666th episode for the series (in fortuitous bit of scheduling for the show). The vignette spoofs 'Stranger Things' and sees Milhouse falling into the 'Over/Under' with Lisa the only one who can bring him back. It... doesn't go well for Milhouse as you can expect.
Fans were also given the opportunity to ask The Simpsons gang questions - including the ever-popular, "Will we see a second The Simpsons movie?"
Jean was cautious answering the question, but said the cast and crew would be thrilled to produce another movie, but only if the story was something they could get behind and believe in. He also offered one tantilizing bit for fans saying they "have talked about" a movie with Disney as well as ideas for potential spin-off series (The Adventures of Comic Book Guy, anyone??).
Despite the fact that the show has broadcast well over six-hundred episodes and turned into one of the longest-running of all time, the producers still had ideas on more adventures for Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, and little Maggie.
For one, Jean said he'd love to see the show bring back ubervillian Hank Scorpio (voiced by the peerless Albert Brooks). Scorpio's last appearance was way back in season 8, meaning there's plenty of thing story for Springfield's supervillain with a heart of gold.
Nancy Cartwright was lobbying for Hugh Jackman to make an appearance on the show - one of the few major stars who haven't made a stop in Springfield yet.
Finally, one fan asked the panel whether the controversial character, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, voiced by Hank Azaria, would be returning for the next season. Rumors began surfacing that the show would be "quietly" dispensing the character after it had become the subject of complaints about stereotyping South Asians, especially after the documentary, "The Problem with Apu" by Hari Kondabolu premiered last year.
Groening said the character would return and would remain on the show, despite the controversy.