John DiMaggio Officially Joins FUTURAMA Revival Ending Bendergate

It’s time to take another trip to the 31st century. A Futurama revival is in the works at Hulu, with the original team helming the series. According to a press release from Hulu, the streaming platform has ordered 20 episodes.

Even better, several original cast members are returning for the rival. Among the returning vets are Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman. One notable absence from the list is John DiMaggio. While initially, it sounded like producers were hoping to get DiMaggio on board, the actor took to Twitter explaining his absence from the revival, saying it came down to “self-respect.” Stating his love for Bender and Futurama, he said he thought the whole cast deserved better salaries, calling out an industry that “takes advantage” of its artists. This saga has a happy ending; John DiMaggio has officially joined Hulu’s Futurama Revival, but let’s take a look at the whole story.

Here’s what DiMaggio initially had to say:

DiMaggio received a lot of support from fans and actors alike after the revival’s announcement. Among many others, Tara Strong and Mark Hamill called out the show over moving forward without arguably the most crucial member of the crew.

For a quick refresher: the series followed Philip Fry, a slacker in his 20s who accidentally freezes himself on New Year’s Eve in 1999, waking up 1,000 years later. As opposed to going back to his original time, he embraces his new life and pals, including the very tough Leela and a human-like robot named Bender. The animated series was deeply funny while also hitting at very existential ideas and occasionally making us cry.

Leela, Bender, and Phil in Futurama

Created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen, the original series had quite a run. It debuted on Fox in 1999 and ran for four seasons, ending in 2003. However, its syndication on Comedy Central proved so popular that Futurama returned in 2007, airing its direct-to-DVD movies and eventually new episodes, formally wrapping up in 2013.

For a while, it seemed like John DiMaggio and Bender would not return for Futurama’s revival, but happily, it seems DiMaggio and Hulu found common ground.

According to  VarietyDiMaggio shared in a statement:

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,” DiMaggio said in a statement. “#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!

It sounds like everyone is in good spirits to us! Series creator Matt Groening also celebrated the news. He said, “From the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century, we knew we had our Bender,” series creator Matt Groening said. “So congrats to everyone at ‘Futurama. We’re all back, baby!”

Per Hulu, the series heads into production sometime in February 2022, with a 2023 premiere date targeted. We can’t wait to see what the revival has in store. Especially now that the gang has all come together.

Originally published on February 9, 2022.

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