Fans were surprised by the news that Futurama will be returning after almost a decade of closing the curtains and all the original cast were expected to return, except for one: John DiMaggio who voiced Bender and he might not be back because he had something with this deal that doesn’t seem to connect with Hulu – he wants the entire cast to be paid more.
John DiMaggio took it to Twitter to show his side of the coin and why he would not be back to voice Bender in the revival of Futurama. He shared, "I've been thinking about everything that's been going on these past months and just to be clear, I don't think that only I deserve to be paid more. I think the entire cast does."
Thus, DiMaggio rejected the offer to come back on the negotiation to have the pay of his co-voice actors be raised was done out of respect, "Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy and different boundaries... Some accept offers, some hold their ground."
DiMaggio added how important Bender has been for him but his reasons were out of self-respect, "Bender is part of my soul and nothing about this is meant to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama' family. It's about self-respect.”
The industry may have been the exact reason why DiMaggio held his ground, “And honestly, being tired of an industry that's become far too corporate and takes advantage of artists' time and talent... I wish I could give you every detail so you would understand, but it's not my place. Thanks again for the love everyone. Still hoping for the best."
Just with this, you can see how DiMaggio loves Futurama dearly and how Bender meant a lot for him but he wanted to spark some change in the industry wherein the voice actors deserve more. The producers, more so, the fans remained hopeful for his return but he stood his ground. Their only way is to have Bender recast if needed.
DiMaggio has given the voice of Bender since the inception of the show in 1999 when it first aired on Fox where Futurama has five seasons until its cancellation in 2003. It, then, had a rerun of its episodes on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim from 2003 to 2007. The show got a new home on Comedy Central from 2008 until it closed the curtains in 2013. Now, for its comeback, it would be on Hulu.
All of the original voice cast would return with Billy West as Fry, Katey Segal as Leela, along with Trees MacNellie, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, David Herman, and Maurice LaMarche. Futurama will be back for a 20-episode run.
Futurama is eyeing a comeback in 2023 on Hulu.