Futurama Actor Says His Standoff With Hulu Ended Without A Pay Raise

Futurama is set to be rebooted for Hulu, and one of its most important voice actors has revealed their return and negotiations did not contain a pay raise.

By Douglas Helm | Published


Futurama is returning to Hulu in all its former glory, but it didn’t get there without back and forth between Hulu and actor John DiMaggio. When the return of Futurama was first revealed, the announcement mentioned that nearly all the former cast, such as Billy West and Katey Sagal, would be back to reprise their roles. DiMaggio, who played the foul-mouthed robot Bender, was notably absent from the casting announcement. The reason was that DiMaggio was pushing back to get the voice actors for the series a pay bump. Unfortunately, it seems like the negotiations didn’t end in his favor.

Though DiMaggio is officially going to be back as Bender for Futurama’s return, he isn’t getting any more money out of it. At the recent Phoenix Fan Fusion event, DiMaggio revealed that he didn’t get more money in the deal, but that he did get respect and admiration from his fellow voice actors for taking a stand. He also revealed that the show was fully planning on moving on without have, having a new guest star voicing Bender in each episode. In the end, DiMaggio ended up opting to join his co-stars in the reboot, instead of missing out on the offer. The actor summed up his experience by saying “trying to get money out of Disney is like trying to get blood from a stone — you ain’t gonna get it!” It seems like DiMaggio certainly went through some tough negotiations in those months where his return was uncertain, but it also seems like it was a fight worth fighting.

Futurama is set to return to Hulu with new episodes in 2023. The long-running series is the brainchild of Simpsons creator Matt Groenig. The show aired for a total of seven seasons. Six of these are normal TV seasons, with one season being comprised of four movies. The show made the jump from Fox to Comedy Central in Season 5. Now Futurama is squarely back in Fox’s lineup, as Hulu is owned by Fox. By extension, this means Futurama is now owned by Disney too since Fox was acquired by the House of Mouse. Futurama is an animated comedy set 1,000 years in the future. It follows Philip J. Fry and the rest of the Planet Express crew. Presumably, the new season will chronologically follow the latest season of the show, picking up the story where it left off. 

The finale of the seventh season of Futurama was meant to cap off the series and was met with critical acclaim. Of course, with a time-traveling plot device being the crux of the final episode and the ending of that episode sending everyone back to a previous point in time, there’s plenty of room for the series to move forward with new plots and episodes. The full returning original cast for the show will include Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, Lauren Tom, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, and David Herman. The executive producers are also on board, so it looks like it’ll be the same Futurama that fans know and love.