This Simpsons Episode Almost Turned Into The Simpsons Movie 2

When The Simpsons Movie hit theaters in 2007, it not only became a box office win, but it also managed to win over people who had turned against the show in years previous. The question remains as to whether or not the proposed sequel will ever exist, or how enjoyable it would be, but showrunner Al Jean revealed that a recent episode was actually in the running to become the plot for a follow-up film.

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As you might have guessed, he’s referring to the wildly off-kilter “The Man Who Came to be Dinner,” which aired on January 4, and had the Simpson family taken by Kang and Kodos – in an arguably misguided non-“Treehouse of Horror” appearance – into outer space and to their home planet. According to Jean, who spoke with EW about the episode’s history, it was supposed to be the Season 24 finale, which aired back in 2013, but discussions about expanding the sci-fi-heavy plot into a second feature made them hold off on airing it until now. Here’s how he explained things.

Two of the allures were exploring the rules of the new world and the cinematic nature of doing something in space. But then we were worried that people might think it’s an idea that’s not canonical – it doesn’t really happen, unlike all of the other 560 episodes that really ‘happened’ – so the ultimate decision was to air it as an episode.”

I’m not really sure how it stays in tune with being canon by appearing as an episode, but okay. It’s not like the aliens’ Men in Black-like memory erasing intentions are any more real, I guess. While the episode had a couple of cool jokes, it felt like a half-cooked effort that I would really like to have seen turned into a something lengthier, with a more critical filter put into the jokes. I guess that’s really just a veiled yearning for another season of Futurama.

To be expected, Jean was asked about how likely a sequel still is, despite that particular idea being scrapped. And his answer was equally expected.

My guess it’s 50-50…We actually think of ideas for shorts more easily than for features. To be honest, there’s nothing that I’d say, ‘This is what we were thinking we would do if we did a feature.”

The Simpsons has been pulling out all kinds of stops recently, with their crossover episodes, the Judd Apatow episode resurrection, and killing off Krusty’s dad, among other things. I guess it’s no surprise that Homer ended up watching the extremely fruitful birth of Rigel 7 aliens at some point this season. But are we better off having seen it on the small screen?

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Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.