As time goes on, Gravity Falls Season 3 looks less and less likely to ever be released.
Created by writer Alex Hirsch, Gravity Falls was a dark mystery comedy series that -while a massive deviation from typical Disney fare - proved successful, as the show was heralded for its poignant moments and incredibly intelligent narrative web.
Will Gravity Falls Season 3 Ever Happen?
As it currently stands, Gravity Falls Season 3 is highly unlikely to be developed.
The Season 2 finale (which aired back in August 2013) wrapped everything in the show up quite neatly, and series creator Alex Hirsch has remained adamant that was the end.
In a 2015 post from his personal Tumblr account, Hirsch addressed the ending of the show, saying he always envisioned Gravity Falls as "a finite series" with a "beginning, middle, and end:"
"The first thing to know is that the show isn’t being canceled- it’s being finished. This is 100% my choice, and its something I decided on a very long time ago. I always designed 'Gravity Falls' to be a finite series about one epic summer- a series with a beginning, middle, and end. There are so many shows that go on endlessly until they lose their original spark, or mysteries that are canceled before they ever get a chance to pay off."
He added, "I wanted Gravity Falls to have a mystery that had a real answer" and that is why the show ended after only two seasons:
"But I wanted 'Gravity Falls' to have a mystery that had a real answer, an adventure that had a real climax, and an ending that had a real conclusion for the characters I care so much about."
And Hirsch has moved on from Gravity Falls. He is currently in the process of developing a new animated series for Netflix, which - according to writer Alex Furlin - had a writers' room "from December 2020 through April 2022" and remains in development (via Furlin's website):
"From December 2020 through April 2022, I worked as the Writers’ Assistant and Script Coordinator for the as-of-yet untitled animated comedy developed and showrun by Alex Hirsch, creator of 'Gravity Falls' on Disney Channel. Unfortunately this exciting project has slipped back into the development stage after a fruitful and productive writer’s room was convened."
How Gravity Falls Continued Outside of TV
While Gravity Falls Season 3 may never happen on Disney Channel, the series has technically continued outside the bounds of TV.
In 2018, creator Alex Hirsch released the graphic novel, Gravity Falls: Lost Legends, a collection of four stories in the animated universe (some of which were set after the events of Season 2).
One of these stories followed Stan and Ford aboard the Stan-of-War II, setting sail for new horizons, something that was only briefly shown in the Season 2 finale.
Lost Legends even teed up what could potentially happen in future Gravity Falls stories like a possible Season 3. The Shmebulock teased a third season or maybe even a movie in the book's epilogue, saying, "The Stan Brothers began an adventure of a lifetime, the kind of adventure that would make a great movie, honestly:"
“So the Stan Brothers began an adventure of a lifetime, the kind of adventure that would make a great movie, honestly. Maybe a miniseries? Is that too much to ask? … Honestly, would it kill them to give us some new adventures? After Summer Comes Fall. A whole new ‘season,’ if you will. I can’t be the only one who wants another season, right? Right?!”
Also in the literary world, the incoming Book of Bill by Hirsch - which delves into the mysterious origins of Bill's Cipher - has some thinking it could hint at what is next for the franchise.
According to The Book of Bill synopsis (via Disney Books), fans can expect to find "the Pines family’s most embarrassing secrets," Bill's "bizarre origins," and even the "key to overthrowing the world" (among other things):
"Inside, Bill sheds light on his bizarre origins, his sinister effects on human history, the Pines family’s most embarrassing secrets, and the key to overthrowing the world (laid out in a handy step-by-step guide). This chaotic and beautifully illustrated tome contains baffling riddles, uncrackable ciphers, lost Journal 3 pages, ways to cheat death, the meaning of life, and a whole chapter on Silly Straws. But most importantly, 'The Book of Bill' is deeply, deeply cursed."
While not explicitly related to a potential Season 3, The Book of Bill could hold some secrets to where Hirsch sees things going for the beloved series.
One cross-media leap the series could take down the road is into the world of video games. A Gravity Falls game came out in the past for Nintendo's 3DS (Gravity Falls: Legend of the Gnome Gemulets), but Hirsch thinks the digital realm could be where Season 3's story is told (per Inverse):
"I love exploring different mediums with these characters. My dream, if I had a magic wand, would be to make a really kick-ass 'Gravity Falls' video game that is really, really in-depth to the lore of the series and includes new canon that has been in the periphery of the series, but I’ve never found a place for it."
However, seeing as Disney owns the right to Gravity Falls, " it’s up to Disney to decide what they do" and not Hirsch:
I think Disney has, to my understanding, sort of shuttered their interactive department and is very protective of their IP. And I’ve never had the chance to really get my hands in a video game space for these characters. This is one of the things where I regret that I don’t own 'Gravity Falls.' Cause if I did, I would pair up with a sick indie studio and make the world’s greatest 'Gravity Falls' game. Because I don’t own 'Gravity Falls,' it’s up to Disney to decide what they do with that IP, and they don’t seem super savvy about video games right now.
Gravity Falls is streaming now on Disney+.