Variety reports that production on the new Comedy Central episodes has been restarted now that the principal voice talent has been coaxed back to the studio. This means that the show will be able to meet its 2010 target date.
That is, of course, unless there are unforeseen complications like, say, another writers' strike, an animator ink shortage, or an impromptu invasion led by the planet Omicron Persei 8. Negotiations with Lur are still pending.
Futurama's executive producer David X. Cohen talked to Wired Magazine's Underwire blog about just what lies ahead for the new Comedy Central episodes.
The good news is Cohen seems to be brimming with more crazy ideas than a Hardee's product development retreat, but he doesn't reveal anything too specific in terms of what Fry, Leela and Bender will be doing in the episodes to come.
What was once just internet gossip that spread across the web like a persistent skin rash has now become confirmed fact.
20th Century Fox and Comedy Central are not only reviving Futurama, but they want double the initial number of episodes that Collider.com reported meaning fans can look forward to 26 new episodes the sci-fi comedy series around the middle of 2010.
Variety also reports that actors Billy West, Katey Sagal and John DiMaggio have also signed up to once again provide the voices for Fry, Leela and Bender. I believe that sound you just heard was the universe being ripped open by this awesome time loop.
The story begins with Leo Wong, wealthy entrepreneur and father of Amy, who is trying to build a bigger and better Mars Vegas. This would include an interplanetary golf course that uses a black hole as one of its, er, holes. Over time, we learn that he's trying to destroy a planetoid that is growing indigenous life at an accelerated rate in order to build this.
Reading the synopsis from the press release, it sounds good. The plot sounds a little haphazard, but I think you'd say the same thing reading a synopsis of the plots from any of the DVD movies. One can only hope that this will not be the last we see of the Planet Express gang, but if it is, I hope they are sent off with the respect and dignity they deserve (provided we don't count Fry and Bender).
I really loved Bender's Big Score . I liked but didn't love The Beast With A Billion Backs. I caught Bender's Game, which on my likability scale was between the first and second movies. I'm hoping to really love this fourth one. At the very least, at least they've dropped their penchant of using the letter "B" in the title.
The second direct-to-DVD release of Futurama is a fun movie with loads of extras that make the purchase worth it. They include outtakes, deleted scenes, commentary tracks, and an extra I particularly enjoyed: a "Lost Episode" made from a Futurama video game (which was a bit like watching a video game demo, but with jokes). The DVD also comes with a preview of the next Futurama DVD release which looks to be a satire of Lord of the Rings. Guest voices include Brittany Murphy as Fry's new girlfriend, David Cross as the planet-sized Yivo and Professor Stephen Hawking as himself.
Spoilers after the jump...
Disclaimer: TV Squad will soon be posting its own review of this Direct-to-DVD Futurama movie. Rather than keep our loyal readers in suspense, we'll be directing you to another review site until the DVD finally arrives in the mail.
Screen Jabber was able to grab an advance copy of the second Futurama DVD release, The Beast With A Billion Backs (lucky bastards). As a result, we are treated to a review by them.
The story takes place about a month after the events of Bender's Big Score. It seems that there has been a rip in time and space and a giant mutli-tentacled alien is reaching through to try and have sex with everyone on the planet (if two people having sex are the beast with two backs, then...well, you get the idea).
Believe it or not, Futurama has been airing on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block for about five years. During that period, fans of the show have probably watched every single episode at least once, or twice, or fifteen times. Now, those same fans will get the chance to watch every single episode one more time as Adult Swim begins a Futurama marathon.
Starting tonight at 11:00 PM, and continuing until 11:30 PM on the last day of the year, there will be nothing on the schedule but Fry, Leela, Bender, and the rest of the team from Planet Express. On December 31st Adult Swim will air the show's first episode, 'Space Pilot 3000' and the last episode, 'The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings' (great episode, by the way) at 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm respectively. This is all in preparation of Futurama moving from Adult Swim to Comedy Central starting on January 1st.
When I first heard that Family Guy was returning to the airwaves, I was wondering if/when other cancelled Fox animated shows would similarly rise from the dead. Then I heard Futurama was returning to Comedy Central (with a brief stop on DVD beforehand). Futurama can best be described as The Simpsons for sci-fi/fantasy fans (which makes sense consider that Matt Groening created both and uses the same animation style for both). I then thanked the gods of comedy for returning this gem.
The plan for Futurama is to release four direct-to-DVD movies which would make up a complete season of 16 half-hour episodes. "Bender's Big Score" is the first release and consists of the first four episodes (although I hear the individual episodes will contain extra footage not in the DVD release when they are eventually broadcast. How's that for a reversal of precedent?).
Groening gives the show's loyal fans all the credit in the world for helping the show come back. "The continued devotion of the fans, chiefly on the Internet, kept us thinking that maybe we could bring this back," he said.
- The entire original cast is returning
- You'll find out some of Nibbler's secrets
- Al Gore is back
[Thanks, Justin and Jeff]
There were a bunch of interesting tidbits from the DVD commentary to this episode. One was the admission from Matt Groening that the storytelling in Futurama was more linear than it was on his other show, The Simpsons, mostly due to the fact that there's so much going on in the background of a typical Futurama epsiode. Well, with all due respect to Groening's genius, duh. I've always equated the storytelling on Futurama to what the early years of The Simpsons were like before the pop-culture asides and other wackiness started to dominate. This episode, where Fry and Bender become rommates, is a perfect example of the show's storytelling prowess; an episode like this would have been told completely differently on The Simpsons, or at least on the show from it's third season onward.
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