‘This Is Us’ Movie? Creator Dan Fogelman Says How It Could Happen

This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman has always been upfront about his six-season plan for the show. Now that the sixth season is airing, that means the series finale is coming this spring. But, Fogelman never said anything about a This Is Us movie. When a reporter suggested it, Fogelman didn’t rule it out. 

'This Is Us' characters Jack and Rebecca sit together in the snow
Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Mandy Moore | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

On Feb. 11, Fogelman was on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel with his cast for the This Is Us final season. Here’s how Fogelman reacted to the suggestion of a This Is Us movie. 

Will there be a ‘This Is Us’ movie? 

Fogelman was honest about the likelihood of a This Is Us movie. The cast of his show will be in demand after the series finale. But, even Fogelman expects he’ll be itching to revisit the Pearson family.

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“I’m very aware that a midlife crisis is right around the corner for me and that whatever I do next, I’m going to hate in comparison to this show and these actors, so I say no to nothing,” Fogelman said. “Yeah, I suspect that these six actors, as well as those who are missing, are going to be flooding your TV screens and movie screens for years to come. I think both in front of and behind the camera, as it turns out, because they’re all becoming beautiful writers and directors and producers as we speak. So I suspect when I want to do something again for This Is Us with these guys, I suspect they’re going to all be very busy and winning awards and Emmys and Oscars and all this stuff.”

What could a ‘This Is Us’ movie be about? 

Fogelman knows how the This Is Us finale ends. So he was stumped to think of an idea for a This Is Us movie. Yet, it only took a minute for him to come up with one. 

“Sure, if we could figure out a movie down the road, I’d love to get back together with these guys and do it,” Fogelman said. “I don’t know what that would be. By the end of this season, I think we‘ll have told the complete story, so I’m not sure. It’s like if you’re doing the movie of what would’ve happened if Jack survived the fire or something, I don’t know that that’s — Wait, do I have to give credit to the panel?”

In real time, Fogelman said he heard from the powers that be at NBC.

“I see on my computer screen the President of NBC is texting me right now, ‘Yes to the movie,’” Fogelman said. 

Dan Fogelman stuck to his plan 

Fogelman confirmed that he got to tell the six-season story he wanted to tell on This Is Us. However, he admits that reaching the conclusion has been bittersweet.

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“It’s hard ending something you love,” Fogelman said. “So I don’t know that everybody feels right now is the right place to end it because I think if we could all snap our fingers and just magically have more of this, we probably would. But this has very much been the plan. We had two three-season pickups intentionally. Sterling [K. Brown] used to come into my office and be like, ‘It’s six seasons, right? Is that really what you’re thinking?’ I was like, ‘No, we’re doing six seasons. That’s the road map.’”

Fogelman said that to continue past his plan would compromise what makes This Is Us special.

“We run out of real estate,” Fogelman said. “Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) gone, the kids are getting older, we’ve told a story in the future. It’s not because we don’t have any more story to tell. It’s because we exactly planned it to go this way. We’re on a five-year path. To suddenly pivot and add more because we don’t want it to end it wouldn’t be quite responsible to the show and what we have planned. It would start becoming something else.”

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