Seth MacFarlane: There will be a Family Guy movie

Nov 30, 2012 at 1:31 p.m. ET

Showrunner (and now movie mogul) Seth MacFarlane says he has the storyline all worked out in his head, and it's better than the Simpsons movie.

Seth MacFarlane to make a Family Guy movie

Stewie Griffin, movie star. It'll happen sooner or later, according to Seth MacFarlane, who says he has the plot of a Family Guy movie already worked out in his head.

"It's just a matter of when," MacFarlane told an audience of student filmmakers at UCLA, in a story reported by Entertainment Weekly. "It's hard to do that while you have the series going on at the same time; I think that's why it took The Simpsons 20 seasons to figure out how to do it."

Yeah, and speaking of that Simpsons movie? MacFarlane wasn't any crazier about it than the rest of us, although he kindly refrained from bashing it.

"The Simpsons movie, I thought, was hilarious, but the one criticism I would have is that it's a story they probably could’ve done on TV. There could’ve been an episode that had that plotline," he said.

Yep. MacFarlane put his finger on the unique challenge of translating an animated television show into a movie.

Seth MacFarlane makes his big-screen debut with Ted >>

Animators can make their characters do anything and be anyone. Fred Flintstone used to talk to a tiny green alien who no one else could see, and Lisa Simpson has been eight years old for more than two decades. Squidward. Spongebob (who lives in a pineapple! Under the sea!). Patrick.

So how do you take a TV show and make it so epic or so involved — or even so disgusting — it just has to bust out onto a movie screen?

MacFarlane is mum on his exact plans, but assured the UCLA students that "we finally hit on… something that would be impossible to do on TV."

As Entertainment Weekly pointed out, the success of Ted this summer means MacFarlane currently has plenty of box office clout: The $50 million movie made $500 million worldwide.

MacFarlane is also plenty busy on Family Guy and American Dad!, as well as prepping to host the Oscars in February, so it's anyone's guess when Family Guy could hit the big screen.

Image courtesy Daniel Tanner/