On February 9th Hulu announced that it was reviving Futurama for another season of 20 episodes. Ironically enough they used Bender to make the announcement, the character who’s voiced by none other than John DiMaggio, who, as of yet, is not reprising his role. Due to contract negotiations coming to a standstill, 20th Television Animation is looking into recasting Bender. So, can we really call it a revival if the original cast in its entirety isn’t reprising their roles? It’d be more apt to call it a reboot.
Reboots in and of themselves might be ok for some fans, but in essence it’s just pandering to the existing fanbase while changing or disregarding the established canon. As of late, Disney is no stranger to this with rebooting Firefly. Why is Disney even being mentioned? Unbeknownst to some, Disney is at the root of this “revival” seeing as they own both Hulu and 20th Television Animation. So how is it that a multibillion dollar corporation unable to afford what a voice actor is requesting?
As much as we enjoy entertainment, it is a business first and foremost. Disney aims to turn a profit, as they should, but to jeopardize the revival of such a beloved show over a seemingly trivial amount of money that pales in comparison to their net worth is ridiculous. Instead of fretting over the nickels and dimes, maybe they should consider the long run earning potential of Futurama if it’s revived beyond these 20 episodes. However, there is no long run earning potential when an integral cast member is cast aside.
At the end of the day, they don’t care about Futurama. They care about the money and how much it can make them. Take a glimpse at Futurama on Hulu and see what we’re talking about. There’s 10 seasons listed while in actuality there’s only 7 seasons. Fox and Comedy Central both aired the episodes out of order messing with the show’s original intended viewing order and canon. Futurama’s original 72-episode run on Fox was produced as 4 seasons, only be to aired out of order and as 5 seasons. Hulu streams it out of order according to the original broadcast, unlike the intended viewing order when it was corrected on the DVD release. If Hulu doesn’t even care to correct this issue, how much faith can fans have that they’ll actually do Futurama justice? The fact that they’re even entertaining the idea of recasting the voice actor for Bender shows they don’t appreciate the actors nor the show.
Fans are threatening to boycott and making petitions on Change.org. What is a petition going to accomplish? A million signatures isn’t going to convince them to spend more money just because the fans want it. So what does Show Revivals have to do with this? Like we said, a petition isn’t going to affect change. Where we differ is that we would revive Futurama correctly with its cast in its entirety. With enough fans collectively banding together, we could afford to have the entire cast back and a revival that lives up to what we’ve all come to know and love about Futurama.