Friday, July 17, 2009

Is FOX Planning to Recast FUTURAMA?

As excited as I was about the return of Futurama, FOX has once again ruined that experience by their callous actions. According to no less than cast members John DiMaggio, Phil LaMarr, and Maurice LaMarche on their Facebook pages, a casting notice has gone out to replace actors DiMaggio, LaMarche, Billy West and Katy Sagal.

Sagal, West, DiMaggio and LaMarche on a San Diego Comicon panel

Personally, I'm betting that FOX doesn't want to pay for these talented folk and would much rather cast "sound-alikes" at a much lower rate. A similar incident happened on Matt Groening's other series, The Simpsons, which resulted in a hefty raise for the voice actors.

Nevertheless, any attempt to recast these talented folks should be the first indicator that the new season is poorly executed and just a cheap attempt to push out product.

Read the full call sheet after the jump and if you want, send Casting Director an email telling him how much you enjoy the recasting idea by clicking HERE.



Thursday, Jul. 16, 2009, 5:54 PM Pacific

FUTURAMA
Voice Over
Episodic
1/2 hour animated comedy for Twentieth Century Fox Television
SAG


Creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen
Casting Director: Scott Muller
Shoot/Start Date: August
Pay Rate: TBD
Location: Los Angeles

SUBMIT ELECTRONICALLY
OR
FOR SUBMISSION OF AUDIO ONLY (MP3S ON CD PLEASE) KING OF THE HILL
ATTN: SCOTT MULLER
15821 VENTURA BLVD.
ENCINO, CA
91436

VOICE AUDITIONS MAY BE SENT IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS:

1. MP3 AUDIO AUDITIONS ONLINE IN WHATEVER MEANS IS CONVENIENT FOR YOU.

2. MP3 AUDIO AUDITIONS ON CD.

3.EMAILED AS ATTACHMENTS TO: FUTURAMA@SCOTTMULLERCASTING.COM (NOTE: PLEASE USE THIS METHOD SPARINGLY, ATTACHMENTS NOT TO EXCEED 5 MB) AUDITIONS SHOULD BE SENT ASAP AS WE WILL BE MOVING QUICKLY. PRODUCER SESSIONS WILL BE HELD AT A DATE TBD.

We are starting casting immediately for Futurama, a half-hour animated comedy created by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. Descriptions of these established characters follow, along with links to clips of previous episodes for reference.


SERIES REGULAR ROLES:

[ PHILIP J. FRY (FRY) ]
Fry, a 20th century slacker, works as a pizza delivery boy. On December 21st, 1999, he is cryogenically frozen and wakes up 1000 years in the future in the city of New New York. Through a series of events, Fry tracks down his great (x30) nephew Professor Hubert Farnsworth and lands a job at the Professors Planet Express delivery company as a delivery boy. Fry bunks with Planet Expresss beer-swilling robot, Bender. Fry is constantly trying to win the heart of Leela, the companys ship captain...SERIES REGULAR

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=164702&title=flashback-freeze (Episode 5ACV03)

[ TURANGA LEELA (LEELA) ]
Leela, a sexy Cyclops, is the captain of the Planet Express delivery ship. Leela is in charge of every company mission, having her hands full keeping Fry and Bender in line. Her early years were spent in an orphanage where she was a bit of an outcast for having one eye. She took up kickboxing and other similar sports to make up for the lack of friends. She still has problems with men and often gets jealous of Amys (her co-worker) popularity among the opposite sex. She has a soft spot for Fry but is unsure of anything further than that, due to Frys clumsy advances...SERIES REGULAR

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=162824&title=leelas-timeline (Episode 4ACV02)

[ BENDER BENDING RODRIQUEZ (BENDER) ]
Bender, a cigar-smoking, booze-guzzling, kleptomaniac robot, had a successful career in bending girders but tired to kill himself when he found out the girders were being used for suicide booths. He was saved by Fry and later took a job at Planet Express. To be able to function properly, Bender needs the chemical energy from alcohol. Excessive drinking is mandatory or he will become sober and unable to control his body. Magnets stuck to his head make him sing like a folk singer...SERIES REGULAR

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=188899&title=bender-the-drone (Episode 5ACV05)

[ PROFESSOR HUBERT FARNSWORTH (PROFESSOR) ]
Professor Hubert Farnsworth is the owner of the Planet Express delivery company, which he uses to fund his strange scientific experiments. He also lectures at Mars University on the mathematics of quantum neutrino fields (he made up the name so no one would dare take the course). He is technically 160 years old, but to avoid being picked up by the sunset squad and taken to the near death star he says he is only 150...SERIES REGULAR

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=217636&title=back-in-action (Episode 5ACV01)

[ DR. JOHN ZOIDBERG (ZOIDBERG) ]
Dr. Zoidberg, a lobster-like alien, left his home planet of Decapod 10 to become a rich doctor but instead became the Planet Express staff doctor (doesnt pay so well). Zoidberg, who is usually shunned by the rest of the Planet Express crew, is always in search of his next meal. His skill as a surgeon, and basic knowledge of human anatomy, are often called into question. He secretly desires to become a stand-up comedian...SERIES REGULAR

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=147743&title=love-lessons (Episode 2ACV05)

FUTURAMA RECURRING ROLES:

[ MOM ]
Mom is the very old, very rich, very ruthless founder of Moms Friendly Robot Company. She has three sons: Walt, Larry, and Igner, who work for the company and help Mom do her dirty work. Many years ago, Farnsworth worked for Moms Friendly Robot Company, and they had a fling, which ended when Mom kept turning Farnsworths cute inventions into mad, killing machines...RECURRING

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=147736&title=mothers-day (Episode 2ACV14)

[ ZAPP BRANNIGAN ]
Zapp Brannigan is a 25-star General of the Democratic Order of Planets and has been responsible for several successful wars including a triumph over the pacifists of the Ghandi Nebula. He is always accompanies on mission by his hapless assistant Kif Kroker. Behind all his bravado he is a wimp who is not very intelligent. He once slept with Leela, a fact hat he constantly reminds her of...RECURRING

http://www.hulu.com/watch/60311/futurama-zapp-in-the-shower (Episode 2ACV17)

[ KIF KROKER (KIF) ]
Kif Kroker is a hard working, long suffering alien Lieutenant of the DOOP who does all the hard work and takes the rap for problems usually caused by Zapp Brannigan (his superior officer). Zapp considers Kif to be his most loyal friend however, Kif in fact views Zapp as an imbecile. He is smitten with his current girlfriend Amy. He has no bones and is supported by a system of inflated bladders...RECURRING

http://www.hulu.com/watch/4471/futurama-kif-is-pregnant (Episode 4ACV01)



44 comments :

UncleCheapskate said...

This is so gross when a company treats--not only the people who helped make them successful--like crap, but also treat their customers (the rabid fans who will fly away in droves if this goes through) like crap.

That made sense, right?

Hey Forces of Geek-- please add a Digg This button. Somebody has already Dugg this! but I couldn't find a link when I looked. Okay, back to being mad @ Fox...

Brandon said...

Ahem, FOX? FUCK. YOU.

sponge888 said...

This really sucks. They tried to do this with the Simpsons many years ago, but noone in the small voice acting community would touch it. Hopefully that'll be the same thing with Futurama.

Kevin Wolf said...

Yes, anybody who took any of these jobs would become a pariah in the industry.

Well-played again, FOX, you eternal bozos.

Jeremy Barker said...

This is the worst Futurama idea since the Fing-Longer! But seriously, there is no way I would watch a recast Futurama.

Footstep said...

I'm betting that this this a deliberate stunt to rally fans before ComiCon. Don't forget that the original actors are appearing there and there is a billed confrontation with Fox:

"Join executive producers Matt Groening and David X. Cohen, and stars Billy West, Katey Sagal, John DiMaggio, and Maurice LaMarche for high-stakes thrills as a top-ranking FOX executive decides live, on stage, whether Futurama will make yet another triumphant return or whether it is gone forever! The very fate of Futurama hangs in the balance!"

Fox simply would not be so stupid as to slap fans in the face this way. Why would the actors go to ComiCon if they had been fired?

Don't worry, guys, this is a deliberate hoax!

Daniel said...

Stefan - Not to get all OCD on accuracy, but this recasting notice is from 20th Century Fox TV and not from FOX. FOX is a TV network that has nothing to do with future episodes of "Futurama" as of this second, though the Comic-Con announcement will almost certainly be that FOX is planning to air the show.

-Daniel

worldofhiglet said...

This will not stand.

stonefry said...

Bad news everyone!

Karl said...

Everyone send them audition mp3s that just say "Eff you" over and over and over again.

I promise to never watch the show if they recast.

capprotti said...

This is disgusting! FOX has done it again. They almost redeemed their douche-ness and then turn around and show their true colors. Any time a network takes something good, as well as the hopes and dreams of it's audience, chew's it up shit's it out and tries to serve it back to us... let's just call that "Pulling a FOX". I'm so fed up with them I can't even begin to describe it. Thanx for the heads up and I hope FUTURAMA's fans can make a difference. This cast change is a waste of everybody's time.

ksekelsky said...

The deliberate hoax theory sounds about right (and I hope it's correct... it is pretty clever!).

Yet still, I felt compelled to write the following letter to the email you listed above:

To Whom It May Concern:

Fans of a tv show, specifically geek fans of a tv show, specifically geek fans of a science fiction tv show, have been known to raise their voices to give their favorite programs a second chance at life after they've been cancelled by their network. It happened once with Joss Whedon's "Firefly." Fans spoke out and brought back the original cast and writers for a feature-length movie.

It happened again with Futurama, making way for the 4 direct-to-DVD movies. The geeks rejoiced. The geeks purchased these movies in hoardes. Enough so that the decisision to ressurrect the tv show was made. But of course, you already know that. That's where we are now. But the point is this, the geeky fandom, complete with angry emails, petitions, blog posts, etc. had the power to make the series and DVDs succeed.

They also have the power to make a series re-launch fail.

And, should you go through with the decision to recast the lead voice actors on the show, they will make the series re-launch fail. The fans of Futurama are not casual watchers. They are geeks. They are fans of the characters behind the characters. The voices of the characters. They are fans of the original work, and while growth and development are positive things, firing the voices that helped create the fanbase to be replaced with cheaper, sub-par talent is going to make the fans revolt.

The original fanbase that spoke so loudly against the cancellation fo the show will also speak loudly about the recasting of voices.

They will not watch the new Futurama.

We will not watch the new Futurama.

I will not watch the new Futurama.

I will not purchase the new Futurama on DVD. I will not buy Futurama tshirts. I will not buy little plastic Bender figures to put on my desk at work.

The geeks have voices, and they are loud. The new Futurama will fail.

Please reconsider your decision to recast the voices.

Sincerely,
Katie Sekelsky

adult said...

That dog won't hunt, Monsignor.

Tabitha said...

This is AWFUL. Billy West IS Fry (and, well, the red M&M) and Katy Sagal is Leela and for them to recast is just stupid.

The only time a recast has worked is when Family Guy dropped Lacey Chabert and cast Mila Kunis. Other than that? Just. Doesn't. Work. I'd rather the series not make a comeback.

Chris M. said...

"The only time a recast has worked is when Family Guy dropped Lacey Chabert and cast Mila Kunis."

Oh yeah her voice went from sweet to scratchy....swell

But yeah I'd be inclined to think this is just a hoax, possibly to gauge just how committed fans are to the series, atleast if Fox hadn't already pulled this stunt with the Simpsons

Footstep said...

Republicans have apparently praised Fox's decision:

http://newsifact.blogspot.com/2009/07/republicans-applaud-fox-for-futurama-re.html

Chris said...

Boycot!

Frankie Thirteen said...

It would be like recasting Apu or Diamond Joe Quimby.

I do not like this one bit.

Casey said...

Yes! Recast! FINALLY!

bigspiff22 said...

Please don't let them change anything about this series. i have many friends that rejoiced about the word that Futurama was coming back, the news spread like crazy! dashing all of our hopes with a re-cast would be a very poor decision. if everything continues on the way it was, Futurama has a lot to look forward to, its legacy will carry it high and far. anything less than that is just playing with fire.
-Micah MN

MC said...

I really hate this decision, I mean, it is a colossal mistake... but part of me thinks it is karmic payback for Billy West taking over the John K roles on Ren and Stimpy after he was kicked off the show by Nick.

I will not watch a Futurama with what amounts to scab voice actors.

n said...

i'm argentinean and we used to watch the simpsons dubbed in mexico. Humberto Velez was the best homer simpson ever heard [including castellaneta-original version] and it'd been said that even Matt Groening enjoys this dub.
Well, maybe around 8 years ago, the 'dub-company' [i don't know how it could be say] didn't accept to pay more for these cast, the original latin-american simpsons, and cast new voices.
Well, that was the end of my, and many others, simpson latinamericanvoice addiction and i started watching them in english [thanks to sap and dvds].
i wish they don't do that with futurama, otherwise it would be another tv-series i will stop watching it.
Saludos argentinos para todos
Ignacio Herrera

pressuredrop16 said...

I'd rather that FOX not pick the series back up at all if they are not going to do it right. It will be more worth it to them to avoid the inevitable backlash and negotiate further with the original cast. Otherwise, like previous posts have said, this will be shamless product pushing. Are you listening FOX??

Adam M said...

I rhought they signed with Comedy Central???

Clinton said...

Why not everyone send in bogus auditions, use audio from the show and just flood them with it, then they'll know who the best folks to cast really are.

JC said...

ridiculous, the cast is the one of the fundamental reasons this show rocked. this totally turns me off to the return of the series.

Brandi said...

NO NO NO NO NO....PLEASE DO NOT RECAST. THAT WOULD BE THE MOST MORONIC AND IDIOTIC THING YOU COULD DO. THE NEW CAST MAY "SORT OF KIND OF MAYBE " SOUND LIKE THEM BUT THEY ARE NOT GOING TO "ACT" LIKE THEM

WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU GUYS AT FOX???????????? ARE YOU ALL RETARDED, OR SELFISH????? THIS WOULD KILL FUTURAMA FOR GOOD.

THE PREVIOUS CAST DID A WONDERFUL JOB, SO IF THEY ARE READING THIS, THANK YOU...

FOX IF YOU CHANGE THE CAST IT WILL BE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER. PLEASE LISTEN TO THE FANS.

maskedman said...

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=104162680487

Let's get some Facebook movement on this!

lindsey said...

This is my email: thoughts?

I am absolutely appalled! I read an article and I was am very upset. Why would anyone think that casting soundalikes would be a good move? Aren't we already risking so much just to put Futurama back on the air?? When you have a show that is successful enough, albeit through reruns mostly, with only 4 seasons which started almost 10 years ago, and is still popular today, popular so much that the fans are willing to spend at least $20 each for 4 movies, so at least $80 just to get one more taste of the brilliance, why would you give them the finger by bringing back the show, only to have it half as good? Is that the recipe for success? Not so much. Ok maybe an example of what you're doing... remember Saved by the Bell? and then the following made for tv movies that followed? good, then remember what came next? Saved by the Bell: the new class. yeah that's exactly what you're doing. Are you going to replace David X/S Cohen? Why not? you're certainly ruining it anyway. Have you heard these people???? I mean you'd have to cast at least 10 people to replace Billy West alone. He is perhaps the greatest voice-over worker since Mel Blanc. I'm absolutely stunned that you could have a show without him. Not to mention how wonderful John DiMaggio is, just the energy he adds to everything he reads is phenomenal. And what about Tress McNeil? How can anyone replace that wonderful laugh? I just cannot imagine what it would be like. I do know that I for one will not watch this travesty if it does go forth. I think if you're willing to risk it by bringing this show back you need to be willing to go all in and bring back the original cast no matter what the cost, because if you can't, you will lose the most important fan base, the original, cult fan base. The people who can not only recite all of the episodes verbatim, but the commentaries as well. The people who waited years only to discover that there are going to be movies, and then bought them the day they came out for $20+ each of them! factor in the cost of the season sets and us fans have sunk in over $200 in this just so they can relive this wonderful showcase of talent over and over. It's a slap in the face to think you'd screw the people that kept Futurama alive. If you do decide to recast, your only hope is to capture a new fanbase, and really, good luck with that because lets see, a show who's entire plot is based on something that happened 10 years ago (the year 2000) being picked up after a 5 year hiatus hoping to capture a new audience really? this is your big idea to bring this back? yeah, it'll be canceled faster than the first cycle. please, for all of your supporters and fans, do not let this blasphemy actually come to fruition, I'd rather the show remain canceled than to let this filth spill into my livingroom, at least with the show remaining canceled I could imagine what could've been if it had gone on. The what if's are much much more satisfying than some knock-off, generic, b-list travesty.
Also, please do not feel that I am attacking you personally, I will also be sending my views to Matt Groening, Ken Keeler, David Cohen, Billy West, and John DiMaggio.

Thank you for your time.
Lindsey Klee - die hard fan of Futurama, and lifelong fan of the Simpsons and Billy West

Eric said...

I've started a petition here: http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/futuramarecast/

Please sign it if you want to attempt to stop Fox from spoiling the sanctity of the original Futurama!

agerig17 said...

Do you understand how many viewers you are going to lose if you recast? I can predict that if you do recast you will be cancelled before the season is over.

nate said...

asa huge futurama fan i can understand being disappointed in getting sound alikes for the new show but i would rather have a show with new voices than no show at all. if fox said ok we can make your show if you keep the production costs under X and then the producers take a look at what the can cut down and then it makes sense that the voice actors are a big part of the budget. i really think everyone is over reacting and being shitty. this is exactly the misplaced rabid fandom that makes television people hate us. suck it up cry babies. either have a new show with people that sound similar or no show at all. also emailing the casting director is dumb. he is just doing his job, you think he has any power over the recast? thats just stupid. a web petition? losing viewers?? you guys need to figure out how tv works, THE SHOW WAS ALREADY CANCELED ONCE because the production cost out weighed the ratings. you should SUPPORT the show!

John said...

If there's a new voice cast I won't watch it. This just shows FOX really doesn't like this show.

Jeff said...

I, like you, was very excited to hear about Futurama coming back, now, I'm equally disgusted. Sorry you were the bearer of bad news for me, but I found out about the possible recast from your blog.

I posted a follow-up here

Nice blog, keep the good content coming! Hopefully with better news next time...

Vartan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Oliver said...

ARE U BULLSHITING ME?

This is a disgrace to all fans!!

I mean the one show that tells me to grab a bag chips,a few friends and to sit down relax and whatch the show is FUTURAMA!

SO LISTEN UP FOX!

These Are You're Consequences For Recasting!!

1.More and more Fox Haters
2.Loss Of Numerous Fans(NUMEROUS!!)
3.Possible Show Cancelling
4.BAD TASTE,BAD TASTE

So Think Well Fox...Are ''U'' Willing to take this deadly,rocky and risky road...?

Think About The Fans Dumb Fucks!

Doze said...

nate said...

asa huge futurama fan i can understand being disappointed in getting sound alikes for the new show but i would rather have a show with new voices than no show at all. if fox said ok we can make your show if you keep the production costs under X and then the producers take a look at what the can cut down and then it makes sense that the voice actors are a big part of the budget. i really think everyone is over reacting and being shitty. this is exactly the misplaced rabid fandom that makes television people hate us. suck it up cry babies. either have a new show with people that sound similar or no show at all. also emailing the casting director is dumb. he is just doing his job, you think he has any power over the recast? thats just stupid. a web petition? losing viewers?? you guys need to figure out how tv works, THE SHOW WAS ALREADY CANCELED ONCE because the production cost out weighed the ratings. you should SUPPORT the show!


^The only sensible view here^

Paddy said...

You know what really grinds my gears?

You, Fox.

FUCK YOU!

Andariel said...

... I was under the impression that Comedy Central bought Futurama from FOX.

EnolaGray said...

I'm sure this is just some Foxy kayfabe before the new season announcement. But if it's not, then I will go have a shiny metal ass transplant, just so I can tell Fox to bite it.

David said...

Please don't do this fox. I will buy 100$ of schwag if you do not recast. We will support the show with the original cast.

kenz said...

Doze does not know what he/she is talking about. The casting director may not have say about the recast but they would say if people were not happy about it to the producers and sponsers. It is wrong to hire people who were not responsible for making the show a success and I will not watch it or buy anything that is advertised to help promote it. It is a middle finger to the fans who have been following the show and buying the dvd seasons since its cancellation. Star Trek was cancelled but they did not bring in new actors when they did the movies, can you imagine someone else being Kirk or spock? I say bring it back but please but DO NOT CHANGE THE ACTORS.

Robert said...

Can anyone remember a good show that did this? I cant. Anyway, if comedy central wont pay they wont pay. i for one will try to watch this show, but i cant imagine another voice as Bender or Zoidburg or Amy or any of the other characters i love. Ratings will drop and then we wont ever see this show in its true form again. Anyway I just hope fox listens so that we dont end up with some rushed piece of crap and can keep some of the content that only this cartoon has. Also as a reply to doze: I BOUGHT THE ENTIRE SERIES ON DVD AND ALL FOUR DVDS, AS WELL AS WATCHING ON BOTH ADULT SWIM AND COMEDY CENTRAL(thus supporting this show.) Suck on that for a while.
FUTURAMA FTW.

nate said...

kenz, the casting director has no influence. if you wanted to be annoying AND _effective_ you would hit up fox SPONSORS since thats where they get the money to make the shows. and you should look into it, shows got actors changed all the time through out tv history, like dr. who and bewitched. no big deal the shows were still huge successes. and those are shows with live actors that you can see and tell right away are different. i love the original cast too but i know some people that do a damn good zoidberg impression and you could never tell its not the real actor. and good for you robert that you own all the dvds, that just makes it strange that you seem to be a fan and yet you wouldnt watch new episodes. oh well that means less posts from you in the blogs about how good the new episodes are.