Bender Is Back, Baby! John DiMaggio To Return For Futurama Revival On Hulu

"Futurama" fans rejoice, as all is well with Hulu's revival of the beloved animated series. After much back and forth, actor John DiMaggio has indeed closed a deal to return to the show as the voice of Bender despite his previous pay dispute. This means the entire original cast will be back when the show returns on the streaming service, making for the best possible outcome.

According to Variety, the deal has been made official and no more loose ends are left hanging. DiMaggio will reunite with his former cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, and David Herman for the 20-episode revival at Hulu, which is expected to debut sometime in 2023. In a statement, DiMaggio had this to say about it:

"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. #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 ASS!"

Series creator Matt Groening added the following:

"From the moment John DiMaggio auditioned last century, we knew we had our Bender. So congrats to everyone at 'Futurama.' We're all back, baby!"

A happy ending

This all came down to what DiMaggio, who had been a staple of the show from the very first episode, perceived as fair compensation. In discussing the dispute online, he advocated for his fellow castmates as well, suggesting that everyone be paid fairly for their time and work. The financial terms of the deals have not been disclosed, but all parties appear to be happy. It's all for the best, as quite a few fans (well, all of them) were Very Unhappy Online when it looked like the production was going to try replacing DiMaggio to keep the revival on the tracks. It's a happy ending.

"Futurama" originally debuted on Fox in 1999 after Groening had years of success with "The Simpsons" behind him. The show was axed by the network, but ultimately revived by Comedy Central, where it enjoyed a healthy second life. The one-time series finale aired in September 2013, but the show has maintained a loyal following in the years since it went off the air. That prompted Hulu to pony up the dough for more episodes nearly a decade later.

The "Futurama" revival does not yet have a release date set.