Still here at Comic-Con, still live-blogging panels when I can. The Futurama panel should be interesting, after the initial glory of Fox announcing they’re bringing the show back to TV and the subsequent kerfluffle where they announced they were looking for new voice talent because they can’t meet the salary demands of the original beloved actors, and the resulting fan backlash. So we’ll see what they say about shortly.
Here we go! They opened with the classic Hypno-Toad, assuring us that “Everything is going smoothly at Futurama. You will not notice that the cast is not here. You will assume they are on vacation in Barbados! All glory to the Hypno-Toad!” Funny.
Matt Groening then comes out and offers a little jokey prayer for the cast as well, introducing a behind-the-scenes clip that mocks Fox executives for not understanding how the show is made, and jokes that Lauren Tom does all the writing, voices, animating and even sound effects. The actual panel consists of writers, behind the scenes folks and Groening himself.
Groening says no beating around the bush. They all love their Futurama actors and hope Fox and the actors can come to an agreement as soon as possible. Now they commence with amusing quotes from writer’s rooms past. Fun, but it seems as though they’ve scrambled for some way to fill the time.
When they open the floor for questions, they hope they’re not on “a certain subject,” and even offer prizes for what they judge to be good questions.
They say the best way to maintain the show’s continuity is to consult fan websites. Nerds obsess about this show, and Futurama writers are nerds who trust the nerd fans.
“The wormhole” will be addressed for continuity, and David X. Cohen says they’re going to be “rebirthing” of the series “quite literally.” So be warned.
No plans for a theatrical Futurama movie, but Groening loves the idea of it, and enjoyed seeing the four DVD movies on big screens at Comic-Cons past.
Fry and Leela will have their ups and downs in the upcoming season, and the possibility of the two of them getting together will be addressed in the beginning of the new series, too.
Groening says Nibbler was his idea of designing something cute. Nibbler is Groening’s Ewok.
When asked if there will be any new major characters, they joke that it depends on how the voice actor thing goes. “Does anybody like Fred Flintstone?” Groening says they’ll reveal the secret origin of Scruffy.
Possible future subjects in the show – Mom controls Twitter in the future, and there may even be fan participation on Twitter to make it into the show – that’s still up in the air. A very unlikely hot and heavy relationship between Bender and Amy dealing with the “robosexual marriage” issue. Zap Brannigan and Leela will be stranded together on an isolated planet. There’s also Fry and the Professor stuck in a time machine that only goes forward – ten years, a thousand years, on beyond the collapse of the universe, because Fry was early for a date with Leela and didn’t want to wait ten minutes.
When asked of Dr. Zoidberg will ever find a friend, Cohen talks of a story they’d planned to do since Season 1 – the reason why the Professor hired Zoidberg in the first place, because he owes Zoidberg for something big.
The creative evolution of Zap and Amy hooking up – the answer is, given an infinite amount of time, all possible pairings will happen. Thus, Kif and Amy’s relationship is on the rocks, to make room for the ‘robosexual’ episode later.
They do have some big-name celebrity heads written in, but nothing is actually recorded yet, so they can’t speak on it.
Parting words – keep your fingers crossed. What’s going on right now is business, and they’re hoping for the best.