One of the best times the Baconeers ever had at Comic Con (just slightly behind being stalked by Joss Whedon and loaning Robot Chicken‘s Matt Senreich a cell phone) was the panel announcing the return of Futurama in the form of TV movies. A special mini-comic was produced for the occasion, and the show’s prodigiously talented voice cast, including Billy West (Phillip J. Fry, the Professor, Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and Maurice LaMarche (Calculon and Kif, among others), performed a little readers’ theater to the crowd’s very great delight.
It’s not comforting to think that that could have been one of the last times we hear that amazing cast in those roles, as Fox has put out a casting call to replace the actors after the parties could not come to an agreement on new contracts. This is likely a negotiating ploy (this year’s Futurama Comic-Con panel is being sold as a Fox executive deciding the show’s fate on stage, so, heck, it might be a marketing ploy), and it’s a negotiating ploy they’ve tried before with the Simpsons cast. Marketing, negotiating, a promise rather than a threat–whatever this is, we’re not the only ones unimpressed with the idea of following the Planet Express crew without a huge component of what made them so funny. Don’t make us break out Nixon’s head in a jar, Fox–get this done. Morbo is watching you.