UP CLOSE: DAVID X. COHEN
The 'Futurama' co-creator talks exclusively to Toyfare about the long-awaited new season...
By Justin Aclin December 12, 2006
It’s the good news everyone has been waiting for! A new season of "Futurama"—the brilliant, animated sci-fi comedy from "Simpsons" creator Matt Groening and executive producer David X. Cohen—is finally being produced for a 2008 release.
It’s still not determined whether the new episodes will debut on Comedy Central or DVD, but we’re too excited to care! We pinned down Cohen to get the skinny on what we can expect when "Futurama" reawakens from its cryo-sleep.
ToyFare: So where are you right now in the production of the new season?
DAVID X. COHEN: We’re about halfway through the writing, but just getting started on the animation. One big decision we have not yet made is how, once again, to “end” the series—hopefully not for the last time.How long after the last “series finale” does the new season take place? And what can we expect for the Fry and Leela relationship?
COHEN: When our story resumes, two long years have passed. As for the Fry/Leela relationship, we will be visiting that subject right away, so I refuse to tell you where it will lead on the grounds that I want you to buy the DVD.How much continuity will the new season feature?
COHEN: Within the new season, we will definitely feature more continuity than in the past. We will also be shedding light on several lingering questions from the original run, including hitherto unknown facts about Nibbler, dark matter and Seymour the dog. By the way, that was my first use of the word “hitherto” in an interview. I think it went well. [Laughs] Nice. How much of the original cast and crew were you able to put together?
COHEN: We have the entire cast back, as well as a good chunk of the writing staff. We also have Rough Draft Studios animating once again, and they seem determined to top even their own amazing work from the first time around. To complete the reunion of our original crack team, it looks like we will also have Chris Tyng back to work his magic on the musical score. Are there any guest voices lined up yet?
COHEN: We will have a number, yes, but I can only officially report on the one we have already recorded—up-and-coming voice-over star Al Gore. For the first time, we are going to show what really determined the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election.Toynami’s going to be making new Futurama toys—are you into the toys at all?
COHEN: I think I have every Futurama toy legally produced so far. I loved their I-Men [block figures]... It’s especially fun for me to see toys based on side characters like Calculon and Roberto. Personally, although I think I speak for millions, I would like to see toys of Hypnotoad, Slurms McKenzie and Hedonismbot. Also, I’d like Fry, Leela and Bender in their superhero forms: Captain Yesterday, Clobberella and SuperKing. Are there any new characters being introduced in the new season that you’re excited about?
COHEN: Yes, particularly Nudar, the evil alien nudist. We’re not sure what the censorship issues are as far as showing unrecognizable alien reproductive organs. I guess we’ll just put it on the air and see what happens.Well, until Nudar debuts, who’s your favorite minor character on the show?
COHEN: Hypnotoad. By the way, we are looking into producing a full 22-minute episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad for the DVD release. I am serious.