Hulu has finalized contracts for 20 new episodes of Matt Groening and David X. Cohen's popular animated sci-fi comedy Futurama to launch in 2023 on the streaming service after months of negotiations.
The majority of the iconic series' voice cast will return, including Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman, in addition to Groening and Cohen themselves.
Incidentally, one of the three lead voice actors, John DiMaggio, who voices the foul-mouthed robot Bender among a half-dozen other characters, is absent from the list. The character is now being recast in preparation for Monday's first table read.
John DiMaggio not returning As Bender in Futurama leaves fans angry
After DiMaggio's negotiations with Futurama studio's 20th Television Animation came to a halt, the decision was taken, but both sides want him to return to the cast and reprise his role.
While John DiMaggio has yet to issue a statement addressing his absence from the series' revival, he has managed to get his thoughts over it via a series of sharp retweets.
Clearly, the sentiment shared by fans is unanimous: that the original cast is bound together and considered a family. When even one character is not brought back to their role, the whole show falls apart.
DiMaggio, along with West and Sagal (who play Fry and Leela, respectively), were contacted to join the revival. Given how popular Futurama has become since it ended in 2003, DiMaggio was dissatisfied with the offers he was being offered for the show.
Fans have rebuked Hulu for not increasing the paycheck of the former voice actor and have hinted at boycotting the show's revival if DiMaggio is not hired.
Comedy Central resurrected the show in 2010, but it was canceled after a few years. Now, creators Matt Groening and David Cohen are seeing their series resurrected once again, even if one of the main characters has a new voice.
New reports suggest that Chris Pratt is being considered to reprise the role of Bender in place of DiMaggio. But this news has also not been received by fans in a positive light.
Futurama, which aired on Fox from 1999 to 2003, follows Philip Fry, a 25-year-old pizza delivery boy who freezes himself on December 31, 1999 and wakes up a thousand years later.
He is met with a new set of friends, including Leela, a tough but lovely one-eyed mutant, and Bender, a robot with human characteristics and flaws. The show's third revival will be aired on Hulu.