Woo-hoo! 'Simpsons' Movie Set for 2007

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For years, fans of "The Simpsons" have approached a possible theatrical movie as something of a Holy Grail -- oft referenced, oft teased, never delivered. Suddenly, that Grail seems to be only 15 months away.

Over the weekend, across several platforms, 20th Century Fox announced that "The Simpsons" feature will hit the big screen on July 27, 2007, providing a concrete target date for a project many believed would never arrive.

"I can absolutely guarantee that this film will far exceed the wildest expectations of every 'Simpsons' fan," says long-time producer Al Jean. "Start lining up at the theater now, preferably in costume."

Throughout the week, FOX had run television adds featuring "Simpsons" newsman Kent Brockman warning that the biggest announcement in the show's history would come during Sunday's (April 2) episode (subsequent adds featuring Bart Simpson also appeared). As promised, a 20-second teaser for the movie aired two-thirds of the way through the episode.

Many fans, though, had already seen the mini-trailer, which played in front of prints of Fox's "Ice Age: The Meltdown" starting on Friday.

The clip didn't really give fans much to go with.

Panning over the contours of a very Superman-esque "S," a narrator declares, "Leaping his way onto the silver screen, the greatest hero in American history." Cut to Homer Simpson on the couch, looking entirely unprepared to leap anywhere, much less onto the silver screen.

"I forgot what I was supposed to say," Homer opines.

The trailer then cuts to the release date, with C. Montgomery Burns murmuring "Excellent" in the background.

There's a sense that the "Simpsons" team may have unveiled this teaser as a way of prodding themselves into action. The industry trade papers report that while there is a script (written by a lengthy assortment of regular "Simpsons" scribes) and a director (David Silverman), the project is still being storyboarded.

"The movie is a result of the very singular vision of eleven people," says producer Mike Scully.

Guest voices will reportedly include Albert Brooks, Minnie Driver and Erin Brockovich, though that may be a lie.

"We're very excited about the performances in this movie," says creator-producer Matt Goening. "Come next Oscars, we think it's going to be Milhouse's night."

Currently in its 17th season, "The Simpsons" was recently picked up for at least two more years. The film will debut just two months after the show celebrates its 400th episode in May 2007.

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