We’ve said goodbye to “Futurama” before, but this time it 's for real.
David X. Cohen, the co-creator, head writer and executive producer of “Futurama” (along with animation god Matt Groening) is sad to see the iconic cartoon go, but thinks it’s probably time to pull the plug, at least in its TV incarnation.
It’s hard to bid farewell to Fry, Leela, Bender, Professor Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg and all the others, but we’re going to have to -- the series finale is on Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:30 p.m. EST/PST on Teletoon at Night in Canada.
HuffPost Canada TV spoke with Cohen about letting go, crafting a perfect series finale and what he has to say to the “Futurama” fans who’ve stuck with the franchise through all its ups and downs.
HuffPost TV: How does it feel knowing that the series is really coming to an end?
David X. Cohen: As always, the greatest tragedy and the biggest relief of my life. [Laughs] I love working on it, but it’s grueling, so I’m sad but also relieved. This time it does feel a little bit different than the previous cancellations, just because when you add up all the bits and pieces, and all the times we’ve been on the air, I feel like it’s a more complete show. Every time before, I felt like we had been cut off prematurely, and didn’t really get the chance to say everything we wanted to say. I think if it doesn’t come back again, I feel very proud of it as a whole.
Do you think in a few weeks you’re going to feel an empty void or a big, gigantic vacuum?
[Laughs] Yes. It’s been a little while already, because we were done production way before the show’s ending, so I’ve been through the stages of grief already. [Laughs] Overall, though, I feel less depressed than I expected to feel. For me, part of it is the last episode is so good, and it has the exact tone that I always wanted the series to end on. I feel nervous if the show ever came back, we wouldn’t be able to match it. It would be painfully hard to come back, but [the last episode] certainly takes some of the sting out of it.
You keep mentioning “if it comes back.” Is there actually a possibility that it will?
I don’t think so. I think we’re actually done this time. People don’t seem to believe me when I say that, because this is the fourth time I’ve told everyone it’s done for real. It’s been 14 years on and off that we’ve been working on it, and I think everyone is ready to move on. Even if it is done as a series, there are other ways it can make sneak appearances. For example, there’s a “Simpsons"-"Futurama” crossover coming up in the fall of 2014. I think “Futurama” will continue to live on, and pop up like a jack-in-the-box.
Would you guys ever make a “Futurama” movie?
You know, that’s my number-one secret fantasy. And by “secret,” I mean I tell everybody all the time. [Laughs] That would make it exciting again, because we’ve covered a lot of ground in the series ... we did the DVD movies, but they had to be done in this certain way so they could be broken up into episodes. We were a little limited in the structure. We could really go nuts with the grand theme if we did a feature film. Another reason it would work to do a film is because “Futurama” looks so great on-screen and lends itself very well to that epic scale. That’s our best option. That said, it’s just you and me gunning for this right now. [Laughs]
What can you tell me about the finale? Will there be tears? What’s going to happen?
I keep telling people, the one sure thing is you’re going to finally see Fry and Leela’s wedding, for real. I’m not jerking you around here. [Laughs] People sometimes get mad when I say it because they think I’m giving away a spoiler, but the wedding is just the beginning of the problems for Fry and Leela. There’s a little bit of time travel, a little bit of romance, maybe some tears. There’s going to be a lot of blood. That’s not a joke!
Did you ever think this show would have such a rabid fanbase back in 1999, when you started this whole thing?
I pictured two scenarios: complete failure or giant success. [Laughs] I never pictured the weird roller-coaster that it actually became. I think it would have fallen prey to my first vision if it weren’t for that really hardcore group of fans, who’ve saved us on a couple of occasions by sticking with the show, and watching reruns and DVDs while it’s been off the air. Having that base of fans is really what got the show to the point it’s at today. I’m super appreciative of those people who scrutinize every frame and value the hard work we put into “Futurama.”
What would you say directly to the “Futurama” fanbase?
Thank you. And enjoy the finale. I hope we live up to your high expectations. We have certainly tried our hardest -- and I think we’ve got it right this time.
The “Futurama” series finale airs on Thursday, Dec 5 at 9:30 p.m. EST/PST on Teletoon at Night in Canada. The series finale aired in the U.S. on September 4.
"Futurama": The Complete Series and "Futurama" Voume 8 will both be available on December 10.
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