The "puny humans" who made it through a line that stretched a countrymile around the San Diego Convention Center got a welcome from Lrrr ofOmicron Persei 8 (a.k.a. Maurice LaMarche), before they were treated to anextended trailer for the third feature-length Futurama DVD, Bender’s Game, out November 4, in which gas (dark matter) costs $632.14 a gallon, and Bender’s obsession with Dungeons and Dragons drags the entire crew into his faux-medieval game world where Leela is a Centaur.
But even better than the trailer? Having most of the cast on hand forthe rabid fanbase. In addition to various producers and directors, andseries creator Matt Groening, were voice artists LaMarche (Kif, Calculon, Lrrr), Katey Sagal (Leela), John DiMaggio (Bender), and theincomparable Billy West (Fry, the Professor, Dr.Zoidberg, Zapp Brannigan, oh thelist goes on). While most of the questions were in the vein of"Remember that episode when…?," there were a few that elicited laughsor spoilers.
A query about Zoidberg’s love life got an answer from the lobster,himself (okay, LaMarche), "I have a love interest. It’s an old hamsandwich I’ve been saving." Actually, explains Groening, accordingto rules of his crustacean species, if Zoidberg were to have sex, he’ddie. "What we’re saying is: Love can kill you. Read comic books."
DiMaggio then indulged a fan by singing the San Diego Chargers fightsong, which DiMaggio deemed "The WORST theme song in the history of theNational Football League." Those who didn’t know the ditty might’veguessed DiMaggio was joking when he warbled, "San Diego SuperChargers! San Diego Chargers! Charge!," but no, that’s the chorus. Or ashe put it, "The most disco-funky ridiculous — it’s just not right."
But actual information was imparted! Bender’s Game, for instance, will be released on Blu-Ray. Fry and Leela (thrown apart in the second DVD release, Beast With a Billion Backs,will be flirting again by the fourth of the five-installment series. Andupcoming guests include Penn Jillette and Snoop Dogg (as ChiefJustice of the Supreme Court).
As to whether Futurama will ever return in its original, half-hour TV-show format? Says Groening, "We’ll see. We certainly want to do more Futurama movies — anything we can do, stories, movies. … We haven’t done all the stories. We still have a few secrets left."