Futurama fans rejoiced when it was announced in February that the long-running series was being revived for a new season over at Hulu. However, many were disappointed when it was revealed that veteran voice actor John DiMaggio would not return to voice fan-favorite character Bender. Since then, viewers and DiMaggio himself have been campaigning for his inclusion in the show. Well, following the drama, the streamer has now confirmed who’ll be voicing the crude, beer-loving robot, and the show’s devotees are sure to be pleased.
Hulu has officially reached a deal with John DiMaggio to reprise his role as Bender Bending Rodríguez for the new season of Futurama. With this, the so-called #Bendergate now comes to a close. Upon the announcement, DiMaggio released a statement to Variety, and he honestly couldn’t have chosen a more perfect way to confirm his return as the cantankerous, but lovable robot:
It was originally reported that the voice actor, who has worked on various shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Samurai Jack, held out during negotiations. He later took to social media to spill the tea and explain that compensation was indeed his reason for sitting out. However, he also stressed that he believed that the entire cast deserved to be paid more. The Adventure Time alum later declared that Bender “is part of my soul” and that the goal of his sitting out was not to be “disrespectful.”
With his casting, he'll join the rest of the OG cast: Billy West, Katey Sagal, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille and David Herman. To me, the group definitely feels complete, and the minds behind the show seem to feel the same. In his own statement, executive producer David X. Cohen praised DiMaggio, calling him not only a “great robot” but a “great human being.” Series creator Matt Groening also shared some kind words:
I honestly don’t know what’s more amazing: the fact that John DiMaggio is back as Bender or that we’re getting more of the futuristic comedy in the first place. The acclaimed series has been cancelled more than a few times over the years. Nevertheless, it arguably stayed alive due to its presence in the streaming sphere, an audio podcast and the sly references featured in shows like Disenchantment (another Matt Groening creation). Here’s to more hilarious and heartfelt adventures with the Planet Express crew and even more iconic lines from DiMaggio’s Bender!
Futurama will debut its eighth season sometime in 2023, so be sure you have a Hulu subscription if you plan to tune in. At present, you can check out CinemaBlend’s list of the new shows heading your way this year.
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