On Wednesday there was good and bad news: Futurama was once again returning, this time to Hulu, much as Animaniacs did in 2020. But there was a catch: It will be without one of its key voice talents. John DiMaggio, the voice acting legend who played the beloved sci-fi cartoon’s foul-mouthed, alcoholic robot Bender, was reportedly not returning. The reason was allegedly stalled negotiations between he and the studio that produces the show. Still, there was hope that something could work out and the role wouldn’t have to be recast after all.
While DiMaggio hasn’t publicly commented on the dispute, he did do the next best thing: As caught by Deadline, he re-tweeted lots of Futurama fans miffed that he wasn’t returning.
Without @TheJohnDiMaggio #Futurama & @hulu can bite my metal shiny asshttps://t.co/zJzW7xvU50 pic.twitter.com/mU1hyoCMAb
— tom42 (@go2tom42) February 9, 2022
“Without @TheJohnDiMaggio #Futurama & @hulu can bite my metal shiny ass,” one person commented, alluding to one of Bender’s favorite catchphrases. Another wrote that, without DiMaggio, “this isn’t good news, everyone,” this one referencing something said by another character, Professor Farnsworth, voiced by Billy West.
.@TheJohnDiMaggio needs to come back as Bender or this isn’t good news, everyone. https://t.co/rGwk6n6iMY
— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) February 9, 2022
The good news is that every other major voice actor save DiMaggio was coming back, including West, who voices Philip J. Fry, the late ‘90s pizza delivery man who winds up unwittingly frozen for 1,000 years, awakening in a much-changed future. Ditto Katey Segal (Turanga Leela), Lauren Tom (Amy Wong), Phil La Marr (Hermes Conrad), and more.
But the lack of DiMaggio leaves a gaping hole, and it’s hard to imagine anyone summoning the right alchemy that he brought to the role of the show’s most gleefully caustic character. Here are some more tweets the actor nudgingly tweeted, intimating that he agrees.
Dear Hulu: Get @TheJohnDiMaggio onboard and I will sign up for your service TODAY. https://t.co/LD8jttfFwp
— Robb (@BuckyUnderbelly) February 9, 2022
Ok I take it back… I WAS happy till I saw this. I'm sorry but there is only one person who can voice Bender and that's @TheJohnDiMaggio pic.twitter.com/IvKucLvmjv
— 💀DeathMetalViking💀 (@DeathMetalV) February 9, 2022
really hoping they ensure @TheJohnDiMaggio is in the new futurama. "Should that not happen, Bender will be recast." how high are they? ("LETS GET MORE FUTURAMA, DO WE REALLY NEED JOHN?" ahh yes, yes you do)
— Greg Tangey (@ruxton) February 9, 2022
I heard @TheJohnDiMaggio hasn't signed on yet. What's up with that??
— Keith Rieger (@Smokefromashes) February 9, 2022
Good news… Almost everyone.
They need to get the deal done with @TheJohnDiMaggio or we’ve got a problem.@ericlopez247 https://t.co/4WJkF3ztOM
— John (@RaginLeprechaun) February 9, 2022
if you can't get @TheJohnDiMaggio back, then just pull the plug, Futurama without Bender is like Golden Age simpsons without homer
— Leo Stevenson (@LJEStevenson) February 9, 2022
I sure hope John is on board. I'll sign up for Hulu as well, if he is.
— Jerry Actually (@JerryActually) February 9, 2022
Agreed. He is THE Bender. End of story.
— Chris W. Brown (@ChrisBr6511) February 9, 2022
Come on, pay the man! @TheJohnDiMaggio https://t.co/axOwSbl1iC
— ThingyBlahBlah3 (@ThingyBlahBlah3) February 9, 2022
Again, while DiMaggio hasn’t publicly commented on the development, sometimes retweets are endorsements. Should enough people raise a fuss, the bad news may not be bad for all that longer.