Futurama's Bender Actor Spills The Tea About Why He's Not Part Of The Streaming Revival

Bender sits at the table with Planet Express gang in Futurama.
(Image credit: 20th Century Television)

The impending reboot of Futurama is a mixed blessing for the fans, as it looks like the world might be getting a new Bender with the Hulu series. With voice actor John DiMaggio currently missing from the revival cast, fans were questioning why this awesome announcement would come with such a sucky sidenote. DiMaggio himself has now officially addressed the situation, spilling some tea on why he’s not part of the streaming revival, and it sounds like pay negotiations are indeed the major culprit. 

After some time had passed since the initial announcement, the legacy cast member has written about the situation. As the rest of the core cast was announced as returning, including Billy West and Katey Sagal, DiMaggio's hold out was particularly noticeable. The actor had not previously offered further details, as negotiations seemed to be pending. However, John DiMaggio has now revealed that compensation is the reason he's sitting out, thanks to the first part of his overall statement on Twitter:  

Hi, I’ve been thinking about everything that’s been going on in 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. Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy & different boundaries. Their “price.” Some accept offers, some hold their ground.

Futurama’s big revival comes several years after the show was canceled yet again after its last revival on Comedy Central. Much as it has after every series finale it’s landed, the Matt Groening creation lived a healthy afterlife through direct-to-video movies, internet memes, and countless reruns. It’s the perfect case for why Hulu would want to bring a brand back, much as it did with its cleverly-modern reboot of Animaniacs, but it’s also why John DiMaggio’s negotiations are so notable.

Through every other era of the show’s production, the entire core cast has returned to turn the lights back on. Even the ever-busy Katey Sagal, who most recently became a really important part of ABC’s The Connors, has found her way back to voice Leela once more. Continuing to explain his position on the matter, Mr. DiMaggio throws no shade towards any of his former co-stars for accepting their posts. Lovingly explaining what the character means to him, he offered some more business-oriented hang ups: 

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. Look, 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. In the meantime, I’ll be in New Orleans shooting Interview with a Vampire for AMC - and very grateful to be! Thanks.

There may be a new Bender in this next age of Futurama, but there's been no news on that front yet. Should the world be presented with that reality, all we can hope is that John DiMaggio somehow approves of his successor as Mark Hamill once approved of DiMaggio's portrayal of The Joker. Even with all of the goodwill and endorsements in the world, this is a situation that still bites shiny metal ass if I do say so myself. 

There are currently no other updates on Hulu’s Futurama reboot, so we’re not sure when to expect the finished product. In the meantime, you can check out the 2022 TV premiere dates, which reveals when all of the winter/spring arrivals will blossom.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.