John DiMaggio has agreed to star in the upcoming Futurama revival on Hulu. The series follows the adventures of a young pizza delivery man, Philip J. Fry (Billy West), who accidentally froze himself in time for a 1000 years.
After being thawed out, Fry finds himself struggling to adjust to the 31st century. Futurama featured the exploits of the beloved characters Leela (Katey Sagal), Bender (DiMaggio), Professor Farmsworth (West), Hermes (Phil LaMarr), and many more.
Created by The Simpson’s Matt Groening, the series first premiered on FOX in 1999 and ran for four years before being canceled. After a hiatus, it moved to Comedy Central, where it ran for four years before facing another cancelation.
Hulu recently announced that it would revive the sci-fi series with a 20-episode order. But, the streamer faced one large issue. While a majority of the show’s original voice cast, including West, Sagal, Tress MacNeille, LaMarr, and more, agreed to return from the get-go, the voice behind the foul-mouthed robot Bender rejected the studio’s offer.
Since then, DiMaggio has put an end to the controversy, dubbed Bendergate, and confirmed that he finally reached an adequate deal with Hulu.
John DiMaggio announces his return
DiMaggio shared the happy news with his Twitter followers, writing, “I’M BACK, BABY!”
Reported by Deadline, DiMaggio said, “I’M BACK, BABY! So d**n 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.”
The voice actor continued, “#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 A**!”
Groening also commented on the good news. He expressed, “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!”
Why wasn’t DiMaggio going to join?
DiMaggio was very vocal about his disinterest in returning for the Futurama revival, stating that the cast deserves to be compensated more. Sharing his statement on Twitter, he wrote, “Bender is 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,” DiMaggio added.
The reasoning behind his change of mind has not been announced, however many speculate it was due to the studio extending a pay bump.
DiMaggio has stayed booked since his time in Futurama. He went on to voice characters in Ben 10: Alien Force, Avengers Assemble, and Rick and Morty. Most recently, his voice can be heard in Netflix’s Disenchantment, also helmed by Groening, and Netflix’s Inside Job, opposite Christian Slater and Lizzy Caplan.
Hulu’s Futurama revival is slated to premiere in 2023.