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John DiMaggio Set to Return as Bender in Hulu’s ‘Futurama’ Revival

The series’ last unsigned original star is finally on board to voice 20 new episodes, putting to rest a period of rocky contract negotiations.

John DiMaggio, the voice of Futurama’s Bender, is finally on board to return as a star of Hulu’s revival of the beloved animated comedy.

A brand-new season of Futurama is scheduled to premiere in 2023, with production set to get started soon. DiMaggio will join fellow returning series regulars Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman to create 20 new episodes.

The news comes following a lengthy stalemate between DiMaggio and Hulu, which sparked serious concern among fans that new episodes of Futurama would be made without him.

As Hulu first announced in early February that Futurama would return, DiMaggio made public his displeasure with the studio on his Twitter account, saying, “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 an artist’s time and talent.”

Thankfully, DiMaggio and Hulu were able to come to an agreement, and the voice actor has signaled to his followers and fans that he’s buried the hatchet. “I’M BACK, BABY! So damn grateful for the love and support of fans and colleagues alike during this whole time (especially my wife, Kate), and I cannot wait to get back to work with my Futurama family,” he shared in a statement today.

“#Bendergate is officially over, so put it on the back of a shelf behind X-Mas decorations, or maybe in that kitchen drawer with all of the other crap you put in there like old unusable crazy glue, or maybe even put it in a jar you save farts in,” DiMaggio continued. “Whatever floats your boat, I don’t care, you get the picture. I’M BACK, BABY! BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!”

“From the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century, we knew we had our Bender,” series co-creator Matt Groening commented. “So, congrats to everyone at Futurama. We’re all back, baby!”

Co-creator David X. Cohen added: “John DiMaggio may be a great robot, but he’s also a great human being. Not many people or machines can say that. For the fourth time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thrill to be back with our entire original cast and the phenomenal animators of Rough Draft Studios.”

Disney’s 20th Television Animation, a part of Disney Television Studios, will produce Futurama. Rough Draft Studios is providing the animation. Groening and Cohen will serve as executive producers.

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'