UPDATE: Since the SDCC panel, there’s been an update on the Futurama casting dispute, with reports that so far three cast members have signed on for next season.
None of the voice actors for Fox’s animated comedy Futurama were present for the show’s panel on Saturday at the San Diego Comic-Con, as the actors were still in contract disputes and its still unclear as to whether they will return for the upcoming season. Series creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen (as well as some of the other show runners) were on hand at the panel, which turned out to be was a pretty laid back panel, with the writers discussing some of the ideas they have for the new episodes (which will be going forward, with or without the original cast).
Episodes will include the secret origin of Scruffy the Janitor; a storyline involving Bender and Amy getting married, which will lead to a debate on Robosexual marriage and will be voted on (in the show) Proposition Infinity.
There will also be an episode where Zap Brannigan and Leela get stranded. They also discussed an episode based around Twitter in the 30th century, and the creators said they are checking with their legal department to see if they can have fans interact with Fry and Bender over Twitter in a way that will be included in the episode. Finally, they mentioned that there would be a third Anthology of Interest episode, which the crowd was happy to hear.
I wish I had better news for Futurama fans coming out of the panel, but sadly, there is not much news to report. At the time of the panel, the voice actors were still in negotiation with Fox, but Groening said he had hopes that they would be able to reach an agreement. As reported earlier from the Con, John DiMaggio (voice of Bender) still has hopes that they will all return, so us Futurama fans shouldn’t lose all hope that the characters voices will not be re-cast. However, the fact that none of the voice actors were at the panel did fill me and the rest of the audience with some fears that we would soon have wrong sounding Fry and Leela. I mean, c’mon, how can you have Futurama without Billy West?
I wish I had more to report from this panel, but unfortunately, all the really important news is yet to come. We here at Geeks of Doom will keep you informed when we hear anything regarding Futurama.