The 31st century gang from New New York is back, and set to release a 20-episode season on Hulu in 2023. Just about everyone from the original vocal cast have signed on to the project, like Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman. The one exception, the exception that infuriated Futurama fans is John DiMaggio, the voice of everyone’s favorite drunk robot Bender (along with many additional characters).
“I’m thrilled to have another chance to think about the future… or really anything other than the present,” said co-creator David X. Cohen. Matt Groening added, “It’s a true honor to announce the triumphant return of ‘Futurama’ one more time before we get canceled abruptly again.”
Since the revival was announced, DiMaggio has been a constant presence on Twitter, retweeting posts calling for fans to boycott the series if he does not return. He also playfully shared some tweets emphasizing how much he deserves to get paid. He finally addressed fans directly last month, tweeting, “Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate.”
Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) February 10, 2022
According to Variety, DiMaggio wants to return, and the producers are looking forward to bringing him back onboard. However, negotiations are at a standstill. When the series was picked back up by Comedy Central after the success of its 4 direct-to-video movies in 2009, the original cast’s return was brought into question in regards to pay disputes over their salaries, with 20th Century Fox TV going as far as to entertaining the possibility of recasting the entire show. Eventually, the dispute was settled, and the entire cast would return for the following seasons until the show ultimately had its finale in 2013.
“When presented with the opportunity to bring fans and viewers new episodes of ‘Futurama,’ we couldn’t wait to dive in,” said Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment. “This iconic series helped blaze the trail for the success of adult animation since its initial launch and we look forward to Matt & David continuing to pave the way and further establishing Hulu as the premiere destination for fans of the genre.”
Production on Futurama started in February by 20th Television Animation and Rough Draft Studios for a potential premiere date sometime in 2023.
As far as other shows created by Groening, here’s an update about the sequel to The Simpsons Movie.
Photo via 20th Century Fox