I’m not feeling great this week, so when the floodgates opened up today with a frenzy of backlash in regard to the news that 20th Century Fox is looking to re-cast all of the voice actors for the revival of Futurama…well, my little illness tripled over on me. That’s right, after making the giant announcement that the show would return (Read: Never Underestimate The Power Of Hypnotoad: “˜Futurama’ Is Officially Back!), they now are looking to replace brilliant talents like Billy West (Philip J. Fry, Professor Hubert Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, Leo Wong, Zapp Brannigan), John Di Maggio (Bender), Katey Sagal (Turanga Leela), Phil LaMarr (Hermes Conrad), Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Donbot, Morbo, Calculon), and others.
At first, many believed it was just some sort of marketing ploy and that the plan was to throw everyone into a panic and then throw some big surprise party with the cast showing up and all being well in the world. Though this scenario would be accepted and laughed about later, I believe it would still infuriate fans to hear they purposely did this. However, it appears that word first broke out when multiple cast members mentioned it on their Facebook, which takes away a Comic Con surprise. Then there is Forces of Geek, who brought the news to us with a giant official-looking casting call with all the characters that they want to re-cast as well as clips on Hulu to use as reference.
As it stands now, the situation looks like a good ol’ executive blackmailing attempt. Fox doesn’t like the salaries that the actors want to be paid for their work, so they tell everyone to screw and put out a casting call for other voice actors in hopes that the original cast will lower their fee. A truly dirty and despicable play by the studio. As any fan of the show will tell you, no other show’s voice talent is as important as the cast of Futurama. That core of talents is so good, it just doesn’t matter who they found or how accurate they sounded, you know it just wouldn’t be the same and we would all be able to tell the difference. These guys deserve every single dollar that they’re looking for, and it’s very unlikely that they’re demanding more than is fair.
Click over to the other side to get a look at the call for submissions the studio has put out.
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder DVD
Directed by Peter Avanzino
Starring Billy West, John Di Maggio, Katey Sagal, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr, Maurice LaMarche
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 24, 2009
Futurama aired from 1999 to 2003, but it was canceled after its fifth season. Though it got off a few more seasons than Family Guy and Firefly, it’s definitely classified among the shows that Fox has canceled way too soon.
As we know, Family Guy was brought back and soared to immense success, while sadly, Firefly remains buried and cold. Futurama kind of fell in the middle of these two. It wasn’t brought back to TV, but noticing the fan demand, it was decided that four direct-to-DVD movies would be made to see where the shows popularity stood.
The first three to arrive were Futurama: Bender’s Big Score, Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs, and Futurama: Bender’s Game. Bender’s Big Score was loved by fans and did well, while the other two did decent, but weren’t quite as praised as the initial offering. Either way, fans were thrilled just to be getting some fresh content.
The last movie to come along is our review today: Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder. It’s a little bittersweet this time, because after this movie, the future of Futurama is uncertain. There’s always the chance that this may just be the last we ever see of the gang.