Actor was denied pay raise, claims talent ‘won’t get’ Disney money

In the upcoming reboot of the popular adult animated series from The Walt Disney Company, Futuramawas announced, fans were thrilled to hear that the original cast would be returning.

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The revival, which will air on Hulu, has been confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter in February 2022. At the time, the outlet reported:

After a long period of negotiation, original stars Billy West (Fry) and Katey Sagal (Leela) as well as ensemble musicians who have voiced multiple characters Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman will all be on board. return. John DiMaggio, who provided the voice behind the wise robot with the “shiny metal a**” Bender, is also finalizing a deal to return, though it’s not yet done.

futurama characters on white background
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Now, DiMaggio is officially returning to voice Bender, and the actor has opened up about his experience working with Disney. By Variety:

DiMaggio’s involvement was in question after initially refusing to join the revival because he felt the cast was not being paid enough. If you assumed DiMaggio’s return meant he was able to get his desired pay rise, you’d be wrong, according to the actor.

“People are like, ‘I’m so glad you have more money!’ I didn’t get more money,” DiMaggio recently revealed to Phoenix Fan Fusion (via /Film). “But what I got was a lot of respect and a lot of nods from of people who are like, ‘Yo bro, I see you and thank you.'”

commercial futurama worlds of tomorrow with (lr) bender, fry and leela
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The Futurama The star also shared that he doesn’t believe talent will ever get the money they feel they deserve from Disney: “Trying to get money from Disney is like trying to get blood from Disney. a stone – you won’t get it!”

DiMaggio went on to note, however, that the respect he received from fans and fellow voice actors was “pretty gratifying”.

scarlett johansson as black widow
Credit: Marvel Studios

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This situation is somewhat reminiscent of Scarlett Johansson’s highly publicized lawsuit against Disney and Marvel Studios following the release of her standalone Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Black Widow (2021). The actress and her camp alleged that The Walt Disney Company owed her tens of millions of dollars after releasing the film exclusively on Disney+ rather than in theaters.

Johansson’s legal battle was resolved out of court.

leela, fry, leaky bender in futurama
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As for Futuramanow that the full cast is back on board, showrunners Matt Groening and David X. Cohen are eyeing a 2023 debut.

Hulu’s description of the original series reads, “A pizza delivery boy named Fry awakens from a state of suspended animation and finds himself in a futuristic world. [New New York] populated by aliens, robots and spaceships.

Are you glad John DiMaggio is returning to voice Bender?

William M. Mayer