Who didn't love Fox's futuristic answer to The Simpsons in Matt Groening's Futurama? Following the wacky adventures of the Planet Express crew and a dimwitted delivery boy frozen for 1,000 years, Futurama became a staple of fast-paced cartoon foolery in the noughties. As Philip J. Fry awoke in the year 3,000, he was faced with Leela the one-eyed cyclops, alcoholic robot Bender, the squid-like Dr. Zoidberg, and a whole host of other madcap misfits. Undoubtedly the thinking man's version of #TheSimpsons, Futurama's peak was arguably better than America's favorite yellow family.
However, after wrapping its fourth (and, frankly, best) season with a bittersweet ending, the network bigwigs revived the show for four direct-to-DVD films in 2007. Something was definitely missing from the show's early days, but #Futurama still lumbered on to a new era on Comedy Central, coming out with two more seasons. Despite another moving finale ("Meanwhile"), Futurama bowed out with barely a whimper in 2013 and all involved confirmed that this really was the final delivery from the crew.
I'm Back, Baby
Now, in a Reddit AMA, the show's co-creator David X. Cohen promises that there is more to come from the #scifi spectacular, but remained coy on what that could be and when it would happen:
“There are no new TV episodes or movies in the pipeline at the moment… HOWEVER, here and now I promise a different avenue of exciting Futurama news later this summer, no kidding. Keep your expectations modest and you will be pleased, possibly. I am not allowed to say more or I will be lightly phasered.”
Given that the revivals were met with mixed success, it is no surprise that Futurama won't be picked up again, let alone take on the gigantic cost of a feature film. More recently, the cast reunited for the mobile game Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow, which is basically a clone of Family Guy's The Quest For Stuff and The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Hopefully we won't just be resigned to another crappy mobile game, because the world of New New York certainly needs further exploring.
However, sticking with the gaming theme, Futurama would seem ripe for a Telltale Games adaptation. Already transforming Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy, and with a rumored 007 entity in the works, Telltale is the undisputed master of point 'n click gaming. Elsewhere, we have seen the equally zany Rick and Morty transfer into the world of VR gaming with Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, and Futurama could easily do the same.
While we may not be getting an Everybody Loves Hypnotoad spin-off, Cohen's cagey response doesn't completely rule out taking Fry and co. to the likes of YouTube for a series of shorts. Coming from the creators of Adventure Time, Bravest Warriors lived its entire life online in bite size nuggets that became a cult favorite. Also, Cohen's announcement could see the revival of the Futurama comic book series, a new line of microwaveable meals, or even a Bender-endorsed karaoke machine — the possibilities are frankly endless!
While it is undoubtedly sad that Cohen has taken a cartoon revival off the table, it isn't that surprising. How many lives can one show really have, after all? But who knows what the future holds. If interest is piqued by a Futurama game (or any other continuation), perhaps the Planet Express ship could find a home back on our screens eventually. Most importantly, the talent behind the scenes has always stuck with their ideas through thick and thin, and, just like Futurama's die-hard fans, they seem more than happy to defrost this one from cryogenic storage.
How would you like to see 'Futurama' return?