The ‘Futurama’ Reboot Now Has A Chance To Be Good

Bender's "back baby!"

Image Credit: 20th Television

When it was announced in February that the sci-fi animated series Futurama would be returning to our screens with a revival produced by Hulu, fans of the cult classic show began to rejoice.

However, shortly after the revival’s announcement, it was also announced that while Billy West (the voice of Fry) and Katey Sagal (the voice of Leela) – as well as other members of the original cast – had signed on to reprise their respective roles, John DiMaggio, who voices the fan-favourite, booze-drinking, smart-mouthed robot Bender, had not.

The Futurama pilot first aired in 1999. Image Credit: 20th Television

It was reported that DiMaggio hadn’t signed on to voice Bender in the revival because he was negotiating with Hulu for more money to do so. Fans quickly took to Twitter to support DiMaggio using the hashtag ‘bendergate’ and even threatened to boycott the Futurama revival if Hulu didn’t manage to get DiMaggio. DiMaggio himself eventually wrote on Twitter:

“… just to be clear, I don’t think that only I deserve to be paid more. I think the entire cast does. Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business… Bender is a part of my soul & nothing about this is meant to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family. It’s about self-respect. And honestly, being tired of an industry that’s become far too corporate and takes advantage of artist’s time & talent.”

But, in the words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, now there’s some “good news, everyone” concerning DiMaggio and the Futurama revival. Because today, according to Deadline, DiMaggio has finally reached a deal with Hulu and the actor will indeed voice Bender in the revival, which is set for a 2023 release. In a statement DiMaggio said:

“I’M BACK, BABY! So damn grateful for the love and support of fans and colleagues alike during this whole time – especially my wife, Kate – and I cannot wait to get back to work with my Futurama family.

#Bendergate is officially over, so put it on the back of a shelf behind Xmas decorations, or maybe in that kitchen drawer with all of the other crap you put in there like old unusable crazy glue, or maybe even put it in a jar you save farts in. Whatever floats your boat, I don’t care, you get the picture. I’M BACK, BABY! BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!”

Hulu released this image when the Futurama revival was announced; despite the fact that DiMaggio hadn’t signed on to return yet. Thankfully, he now has. Image Credit: 20th Television

Futurama’s creators, Matt Groening (creator of The Simpsons) and David X. Cohen – who are also returning to work on the revival – were thrilled with the news that DiMaggio would return, with Groening commenting, “from the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century, we knew we had our Bender. So congrats to everyone at Futurama. We’re all back, baby!”

The Futurama revival will consist of 20 episodes and will premiere on Hulu, meaning it’s likely that the revival will be available for Australians to watch on Disney+ Australia, as most Hulu original content is released onto Disney+.

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