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Futurama star John DiMaggio responds after bitter pay dispute, confirms he is returning as Bender in 2023

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Voice acting legend John DiMaggio has responded after a public pay dispute soured the announcement of the revival of an iconic TV show.

Voice acting legend John DiMaggio has put to bed fans’ fears he would not be appearing in the latest Futurama reboot, after Hulu announced an eighth season beginning in 2023.

The eighth season of Futurama will see the return of a number of familiar voices, including Billy West (Fry) and Katey Sagal (Leela), along with ensemble actors who contributed voices for multiple characters like Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom and Phil LaMarr.

The return marks the fourth time the sci-fi/comedy show has been put under the defibrillator, with creators admitting they have wrapped up the show numerous times only for it to be resurrected again.

The last episode aired in September 2013 at the close of season seven.

While thousands relished the thought of returning to New New York, others were left reeling at the initial omission of John DiMaggio, who voiced arguably the show’s strongest character, Bender.

Several fans said they would flat out refuse to tune in if Bender’s voice was played by anyone else.

DiMaggio cited pay issues as the reason for initially turning down a return to the show, but came around in March admitting the character was “part of my soul”.

“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,” DiMaggio said in a statement.

“#Bendergate is officially over, so put it on the back of a shelf behind Xmas 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. Whatever floats your boat, I don’t care, you get the picture. I’M BACK, BABY! BITE MY SHINY METAL A**!”

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

President of originals at Hulu and ABC Entertainment, Craig Erwich, said the company was excited about rebooting a show that helped pave the way for the current crop of adult-focused animated television.

Futurama initially began with a four-season run on Fox in tandem with Groening’s other blockbuster show, The Simpsons.

Four direct-to-video films were followed, which were later turned into a makeshift fifth season. Comedy Central later picked up the show for what they believed to be the final two seasons of the show over a decade ago.

“I’m thrilled to have another chance to think about the future… or really anything other than the present,” co-creator David X. Cohen said via Variety.

“It’s a true honour to announce the triumphant return of Futurama one more time before we get cancelled abruptly again,” Matt Groening said.



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