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John DiMaggio Had A Very Good Reason For Turning Down The Futurama Revival

It's been quite some time since "Futurama" finally ended back in 2013 with Season 7 — after being canceled and revived several times over the years. In that finale, Fry (Billy West) and Leela (Katey Sagal) accidentally freeze time for the entire universe by breaking a time-loop device, but they get to spend decades together as a couple. They manage to fix things, though, choosing to reset the universe to before the device was made, so they can "go around again." It's an adorable ending that worked well, with IGN's Max Nicholson calling it "a sweet, funny and satisfying end."

However, it now seems that the ending may not quite be the ending, after all: news recently arrived that a "Futurama" revival is in the works at Hulu from original creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, and the streaming service is aiming for a 2023 release date. The cast and crew have been given the greenlight for 20 episodes, though it's not clear at this point what the story will be or how it'll follow from the adorable ending to Season 7. Even though the news is exciting for "Futurama" fans, there's one caveat: many were disappointed to learn that John DiMaggio isn't returning to voice Bender, Fry's hard-drinking robot best friend. He's a core member of the Planet Express crew, and fans weren't happy with the idea that another actor might voice him in the revival series.  

DiMaggio has been open about the situation online, and he recently revealed his reason for turning down the "Futurama" revival.

John DiMaggio thinks the entire cast should be paid more

For most "Futurama" fans, it's hugely disappointing that John DiMaggio won't reprise his role as Bender, but his reasoning behind not signing up for the series makes complete sense. The star took to Twitter to explain his stance a little better to fans, releasing a statement titled '#bendergate.' 

DiMaggio explained, "Bender is part of my soul and nothing about this is supposed to be disrespectful to the fans or my Futurama family." However, the actor is making a point about being paid fairly for the work voice actors do, saying, "It's about self-respect. And honestly, being tired of an industry that's become far too corporate and takes advantage of artists' time and talent."

However, the star also explained that this is his way of arguing that the whole "Futurama" cast deserves to be paid more, not just him, considering how big the show is. "Just to be clear, I don't think that only I deserve to be paid more, I think the entire cast does." DiMaggio also noted that he doesn't want to blast his former co-stars for choosing to return for the Hulu revival, saying "Negotiations are a natural part of working in show business. Everyone has a different strategy and different boundaries. Their 'price'. Some accept offers, some hold their ground." 

So, based on DiMaggio's statement, it's obvious that if Hulu wants to bring the original Bender back into the fold, then it's going to require offering everyone more money. It'll be interesting to see if the series writes Bender out of the episodes entirely, or if it'll recast the role for someone new — either option isn't likely to go down well with fans, and it's obvious that what they'd prefer is DiMaggio back in the role.