John DiMaggio is officially set to voice Bender in Hulu’s revival of Futurama, which means that all the key players will reprise their roles in the sci-fi cartoon. The return of the show was announced early last month, with Billy West (Fry), Katey Sagal (Leela), Tress MacNeille (Mom, many others), Maurice LaMarche (Kif), Lauren Tom (Amy) , Phil LaMarr (Hermès) and David Herman (Scruffy) are ready to return to their original roles.
At the time, Deadline reported that DiMaggio’s role was being recast. The actor reportedly turned down the initial offer, which he said “wasn’t competitive due to the success and name recognition of the original series.” Fans were outraged (obviously), and a #Bendergate hashtag emerged (obviously), and DiMaggio himself ended up caught on Twitter to offer a fuller explanation.
“I don’t think I deserve to be paid more. I think the whole cast does. Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy and different limits,” DiMaggio wrote in a statement, “It’s about self-respect. And honestly, being tired of an industry that has become way too corporate and takes advantage of artists’ time and talent.
Unsurprisingly, DiMaggio made a more positive statement upon news of his comeback. “So grateful for the love and support from fans and co-workers all this time (especially my wife, Kate), and I can’t wait to get back to working with my Futurama family,” DiMaggio said. “#Bendergate is officially over.” Deadline reports that DiMaggio’s salary would have been “minimal at best” after negotiations.
The new 20-episode series, which is slated to hit Hulu in 2023, is the third time the sci-fi series has been revived. The show’s original run on Fox was canceled after four seasons, but was later revived as four direct-to-DVD movies that also aired on Comedy Central. The network then ordered new seasons of the series which aired again in 2010, before being canceled in 2013.