Jul 20, 2009

Future Of Futurama = New Voice Actors!


image from Amazon.com



According to Variety and Entertainment Weekly, Futurama is officially back! In a more-or-less, kind of, quasi-almost-but-not-quite manner. 20th Century Fox has stated it will produce twenty-six new episodes of Futurama based on the popularity of the four movies created postmortem of the series. All of the original voice actors expressed interest in the coming back - but nearly half a dozen of them refuse to settle for anything less than an episodely salary of $75,000 (which times twenty six episodes = $1,950,000 per voice actor).

In agreement with producing the new episodes, 20th Century Fox had to make things clear that they were going to have to instate a large budget cut from what the show was used to. Because of this, the requested pay was denied. Now both sides are saying they can't negotiate and 20th Century Fox is publically stating that it will be looking for new voice actors for the majority of the main roles.

Those who may not be returning - Billy West (Philip Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan) Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), Maurice LaMarche (Kif, Calculon, The mafia-bots, Lrr) and Tress MacNeille (Mom). So who does that leave? Frank Welker (Nibler), Phil LaMarr (Hermes) and Lauren Tom (Amy). Yeah. That sound like an all-star cast lineup. Between Futurama featuring the characters nobody cares about and that were hardly ever developed and The Cleveland Show, how about we just beat my loving childhood memories over the head now and get it over with? Any way we can make it a hat trick by forming an abomination out of Rocko's Modern Life?

I remember when The Simpsons had a similar situation going on a few years ago. The main voice actors were ready to strike, wanting higher pay and were told that they were replaceable. There were people who agreed that by now, there was likely impersonators of the voices who could hit their mark to the T, and people who said that with all the money made off of the franchise - movies, advertisement, toys, dvds, etc. that Fox could afford to shell out the extra cash. I'm of this opinion. Why bring it back at all if it stands no chance of being what made it popular? You bring it back in the first place because it's an investment your making. So My guess is that this is just Fox's way of playing hardball but the voice actors will see through the bluff, maybe negotiate for a little bit less than their asking price, and everything will be resolved in time for some good episodes.

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