Update: Hitfix is reporting that John Dimaggio and Billy West haven’t signed yet, but they’re close. As probably the most iconic of the voices, perhaps they’re trying to work out a slightly better deal?
While many of us were prepping to tackle Comic-Con a few weeks ago, news broke that Fox was planning to recast the main actors for Futurama’s return to television next year. Unsurprisingly, the issue revolved around the actor’s pay. The news cast a shadow over the Futurama panel at Comic-Con, where none of the cast were present even though they were readily available at the con. Today, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief: The Toronto Star is reporting that all of the cast members are back on board with new contracts.
Many figured that this pay dispute could have merely been an underhanded way for Fox to generate more publicity for the show, but then again Fox has a way of making incredibly stupid decisions when it comes to amazing television properties. I honestly couldn’t have imagined Futurama without the original cast. After all, they had a hard enough time maintaining their former level of quality with the DVD films. Replacing the cast would have made me give up on the new Futurama episodes altogether.
The new cast contracts seem like a decent compromise; the actors are getting less than they initially wanted, but more than Fox was offering at the start. Creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen issued the following statement to the Star:
We are thrilled to have our incredible cast back. The call has already gone out to the animators to put the mouths back on the characters.
With this news, I have high hopes for Futurama’s reentry to television. I think many of the DVD films suffered from trying to craft a coherent story within four episodes (the films were split up as individual eps for TV), and I’m glad that the writers will be able to return to the format they know best.
Discuss: Would you have watched Futurama without the original cast? Are there any worries you have about Futurama’s return to television on Comedy Central?