What is a Halloween season without The Simpsons? For decades, the iconic sitcom has gone all out for their Halloween specials. This year, however, they’re going to mix things up. Executive producer Matt Selman announced at San Diego Comic-Con that this year they’re going to be doing a two-parter, and it will be a parody of Stephen King’s It!
This year’s Treehouse of Horror will be a first in more ways than one. Not only will it be the first two-parter, but it will mark the first time that a Treehouse of Horror episode will focus on a single story. In all previous installments, the specials were told in an anthology format featuring multiple parodies and small stories featuring America’s favorite family. According to Variety, episode one will be the traditional mini stories, while episode two will be an entire It parody. Selma tells Variety the following, sharing the excitement.
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“We’ve never done a single fantastical, bloody, scary, dark story, told over the scope of the the 20 minutes and 40 seconds that is an episode. I think the fans are going to be really excited. Certainly the tattoos already exist of Krusty as Pennywise. So we’re just writing towards the tattoos now. You want as many tattoo worthy moments in your episodes as you can.”
The first, traditional, episode will feature three vignettes. One of the segments will feature a parody of the popular anime and manga series Death Note. For this short, they’re going full anime, with another studio handling the animation this time. Selma refers to it as an “incredibly authentic ‘Simpsons’ anime”, expressing that fans will freak out.
“We’re not trying to take on every single anime, it’s an unbelievably rich and diverse genre within itself. We’re not trying to do 20 shows and scoop it all into six minutes. It’s just one beloved thing, this show Death Note.”
As for the other two segments, Selma says they’re going to be kept secret for now. But he has hinted that one of them will “break one of the rules we’ve never broken before”. Whatever rule he’s referring to is up in the air, but leaves a ton of possibilities.
What to Expect from The Simpsons
Also discussed during the panel was guests, a long time Simpsons tradition. However, Selma only opened up on one incoming celebrity that will appear, Melissa McCarthy. Selma goes into detail.
“We’re huge fans of her and it’s a big meaty, juicy part. And she’s really funny. To get a big comedy movie star at the height of their powers, it’s pretty cool.”
When asked about the possibility of a new Simpsons movie, Selma fired back with news that might disappoint fans. The last and only Simpsons Movie was in 2007, and the team hasn’t returned to a possible sequel since. In 2021, Al Jean opened up about Disney being interested in another film, but it seems like those plans are gone. Selma speaks on the issues of another film below.
“These movies are not fun. The show is fun. Movies are hard. The show is also hard, but a movie requires a level of audience engagement in stakes, emotion, character, comedy. It is so relentless. It sort of stops becoming the kind of fun, silly thing that ‘The Simpsons’ is. Not that we didn’t do it once and we can’t do it again. It’s just a whole other kettle of fish.”
The Simpsons is still going strong after so many years, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down yet. This year featured milestones for the series, such as the first ever use of ASL on the show and first-ever deaf voice actors, the first time the four key creative roles were filled by women in the show, and much more. Springfield continues to grow, and we just can’t get enough!