John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender in Futurama, has thanked fans for their support following reports that he hasn’t signed on for the show’s revival at Hulu.
- READ MORE: The 10 best episodes of ‘Futurama’
Earlier this week (February 9), it was announced the sci-fi comedy animation would return for 20 episodes from original creators David X. Cohen and Matt Groening.
While the majority of the original cast is attached, the glaring omission was DiMaggio – with reports stating that producers were hopeful he would return, but they were willing to recast the role of Bender if negotiations didn’t pan out.
Since then, DiMaggio’s absence caused hashtag “#bendergate” to trend on Twitter, with the actor retweeting fans critical of Futurama’s return without Bender’s original voice.
Posting on Twitter in response, DiMaggio wrote: “Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate.”
Thanks for the concern and the props, everyone. I really appreciate it. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted, but until then… CHEESE IT! #bendergate
— John DiMaggio (@TheJohnDiMaggio) February 10, 2022
In a report from Entertainment Weekly, shared by the voice actor, it’s claimed negotiations between Hulu, 20th Television Animation and DiMaggio have “hit a standstill” after he refused a payment offer for the revival last year.
According to the report, DiMaggio’s team saw the offer “as a lowball and not competitive to the market or the legacy of Futurama”. The same offer was said to have been accepted by co-stars Billy West (Fry/Zoidberg/Prof. Farnsworth) and Katey Sagal (Leela).
It’s claimed the studio doesn’t want to pay DiMaggio more than West and Sagal, which has led to the standstill. The studio is believed to be now searching for a replacement voice actor, while the offer for DiMaggio remains on the table.
Voice actor James Adomian, who has voiced characters in Rugrats and Bob’s Burgers, expressed his support of DiMaggio, writing: “Everyone in the industry saw the audition notice go out two weeks ago for Bender, asking for a voice match for John DiMaggio.
Everyone in the industry saw the audition notice go out two weeks ago for Bender, asking for a voice match for John DiMaggio. Seeing it, I said out loud “Shove it!” in my best Bender voice, which will always just be a fanboy cosplay of John DiMaggio.
— James Adomian (@JAdomian) February 10, 2022
“Seeing it, I said out loud ‘Shove it!’ in my best Bender voice, which will always just be a fanboy cosplay of John DiMaggio.”
Along with Bender, DiMaggio voices Jake the Dog in Adventure Time, King Zog in Disenchantment, among many others across games, films and television.
Futurama’s revival is set to begin production this month and is expected to release in 2023.