Futurama fans were delighted when it was announced earlier this week that Hulu is moving forward with a revival of the beloved sci-fi comedy series. Even better, all of the original cast members are confirmed to be reprising their roles ⏤ except for one, that is. Voice actor John DiMaggio, who plays iconic beer-swilling robot Bender, was subsequently revealed to be out of the loop on the show, much to the consternation of Planet Express die-hards.
It’s become clear that his absence from the revival definitely isn’t due to lack of interest on DiMaggio’s part, as the actor has been highly active on social media since the news went live, sharing reactions from fans disappointed that he’s not involved. While he hasn’t come out and stated what’s going on himself, DiMaggio has endorsed a report on the situation, which helps shed some light on things.
Entertainment Weekly ran a story on the matter on Thursday, which DiMaggio retweeted, adding the cryptic caption “Oh, hi…”
In the EW article DiMaggio shared, it’s noted that “sources close to the production” say negotiations between the actor and Hulu/20th Television Animation are at a standstill, with the studio currently searching for another performer to replace him ahead of the first table read occurring on Monday. It also stressed that both parties want DiMaggio to return. Though he didn’t respond to EW’s request for comment in the article itself, DiMaggio’s tweet appears to confirm that this information is accurate.
Hulu has ordered 20 new episodes of the animated series, which originally aired on-and-off from 1999-2013. Billy West (Fry/Farnsworth/Zoidberg), Katey Sagal (Leela), Tress MacNeille (Mom), Maurice LaMarche (Morbo), Lauren Tom (Amy), Phil LaMarr (Hermes), and David Herman (Scruffy) are all locked in to appear, with creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen resuming producing duties. The revival is due to premiere sometime in 2023.
Futurama is 100% returning, but is it really Futurama without the one and only Bender?