Over it’s more than three-decade broadcast history, The Simpsons has developed a reputation for its uncanny ability to predict the future with eerie accuracy and it seems like the beloved animated series’ ability to see the future has struck once again — this time regarding the cancellation of the Batgirl movie for tax breaks by Warner Bros. Discovery. On Tuesday, horror filmmaker Joe Russo shared a clip from the 2015 “Treehouse of Horror XXVI” episode which shows a group of movie executives deciding that they need to scrap an entire, underperforming film “for insurance purposes”.
Oh my god. THE SIMPSONS did it again — they predicted studios dumping big-budget movies like BATGIRL for write-offs… in 2015. pic.twitter.com/8cwKXqWBOr
— Joe Russo (@joerussotweets) September 21, 2022
Sure, The Simpsons scenario isn’t exactly the same as the Batgirl scenario. The Simpsons shows that the movie at least opened theaters but sold exactly one ticket and the executives are trying to scam their way into an insurance claim, but the similarities are eerie enough. Back in August, it was announced that Warner Bros. Discover was shelving the Leslie Grace starring Batgirl film — which had already completed production — with the studio reportedly saving upwards of $20 million in tax write downs as a result as part of a larger cost cutting campaign by Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav that has seen numerous other shakeups with the media company.
But while the clip’s scenario and the real-life situation with Batgirl isn’t an exact “prediction”, it is a strong example of how The Simpsons almost routinely seems to peg events long before they happen. Over its history, the series has predicted everything from the election of President Donald Trump, the Disney-Fox merger, the pandemic and Murder Hornets, Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s space flight, and even a moment that felt eerily ominous after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, though the show’s cast and producers attribute their track record to two things the show’s longevity and history simply repeating itself.
“There are very few cases where The Simpsons predicted something,” series writer Bill Oakley explained. “It’s mainly just coincidence because the episodes are so old that history repeats itself. Most of these episodes are based on things that happened in the 60s, 70s, or 80s that we knew about.”
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