Comic-Con Premieres New Futurama Footage; Plus, We Interview Futurama's Rich Moore

You read this article, you can't unread it!

by | July 30, 2007 | Comments



Futurama
fans were treated well at Comic-Con this year.  Not only did
Matt Groening and
company assemble for an amusing and informative panel, but Rotten Tomatoes
scored an interview with Rich Moore, supervising director of

Futurama
.  We spoke with Moore in-depth about his work on
The Simpsons Movie

and the upcoming Futurama flick, Bender’s Big Score!, out on DVD
November 27th.

First, a recap of the
Futurama
panel.  Series creators
Matt Groening and
David X. Cohen assembled on stage, introducing one at a time the principal voice
crew, the director of the DVD movies, and two writers.  A mini Futurama comic
was distributed throughout the panel audience, and the voice cast paged through
the booklet, doing a hilarious, unrehearsed live reading.

Then they ran the clip, a
five-minute collection of random footage from the first DVD movie, out November 27th. Three more are planned, which will be released throughout 2008. Bender’s Big Score!  Big
Score
revolves around Bender being swindled by nude Internet scammers and
Planet Express the victim of a hostile takeover.  The plots of the three other
movies have yet to be revealed, but all four will be re-edited as 16 TV episodes
that will air on Comedy Central in 2008.

The clip starts with
Professor Farnsworth’s good news that the people at the Box Network that
cancelled Planet Express in the first place have been fired, beaten, killed, and
ground into a pink powder, much to the delight of Farnsworth’s crew. Fan
favorite Zoidberg has some of the best scenes in the clip, including popping out
of his shell on a nude beach, and reattaching Hermes’ decapitated head back onto
his body.  Hermes looks down, and is livid to see that Zoidberg has placed his
head on backwards. Confused, Zoidberg states he thought Hermes was happy because
"his tail was wagging."  Nice. The clip ends with Hypnotoad staring from out the
screen, a voice repeatedly commanding the audience to buy the DVDs. 

The floor opened to audience
questions, with one of the more compelling inquiries regarding content and
budget. Cohen appeared very aware that fans are curious about this issue.  He
candidly said that the writing crew had to take a hit, and that instead of a
live orchestra a synthesizer was used to score the movies.  But he assured the
crowd that this technology was an excellent substitute, and quipped that a
synthesizer will eventually start producing scripts.

Rich Moore has a long
pedigree in television animation, including working as director on the major
triumvirate of 1990s primetime cartoons: The Simpsons, The Critic,
and Futurama, where he acted as supervising director for all 72
episodes. We met with Moore earlier that day on the chaotic exhibit floor, to
get the details on Futurama’s future and his role on
The Simpsons Movie.
(To you three Simpsons fans who haven’t seen the movie, beware of
spoilers below!)

Rotten Tomatoes: Are
you still working as supervising director for the Futurama movies?

Rich Moore: Well,
right now, I just finished working on The Simpsons Movie.  So that’s been
a year and a half of…joy. I love those characters.  It’s great to work
with them.

RT: It’s been a while
since you last worked on The Simpsons.

RM: It has been a long
time. And I was wondering, "Have they changed that much?" No, they’re exactly
the same.

So there were four sequence
directors on the movie.  I directed pretty much the end of the movie, starting
with Marge waking up back in Springfield.  And I really like action sequences. 
That’s why I like working on Futurama so much.  There’s great acting, but
there’s also great action.  So when I read the Simpsons script, I was
like, "I want to do this part!" And they said, "Go ahead! The guy drives a
motorcycle up the inside of a glass dome.  I don’t know, you figure it out."

As for Futurama, I am
supervising, but not as deep into it as I was back on the series.  The first
movie’s back.  It looks terrific, it looks great.  I’m kinda jumping into the
back end, pumping them up a bit.

RT: Can you confirm
the titles of the rest of the Futurama movies?

RM: The Beast with
a Million Backs
, Bender’s Game, and The Wild Green Yonder
Those are the titles. I don’t think David would mind that that’s out at this
time.

I was supposed to direct the
fourth movie, but The Simpsons Movie went on a little longer than it was
supposed to.  So I missed out on directing Green Yonder.  But Pete
Avanzino and Dwayne Carey-Hill, who were also on the series, are directing the
four movies.

RT: Will you be trying
to capturing new fans with the Futurama movies?

RM: I think the idea
is to capture new fans.  The first one is a great science fiction story.  It’s
got the Fry and Leela relationship.  It’s got lots of action.  It’s got lots of
great Bender and Zoidberg moments.  All the old regulars who have appeared have
their own scenes.  But it’s very accessible to people who haven’t watched a
whole lot.

RT: You’re re-cutting
the four DVD movies into television episodes.  How is that working out?

RM: Each movie’s going
to be divided into four parts.  It’s not going to be just cut, cut, cut. 
They’re going to try and edit them into separate pieces of a story.

RT: Is new animation
going to be produced for the episodes?

RM: No. It’s written
in a way so that we can, like, move the third act [of one movie into an earlier
part of an episode]. We’ll tell Fry’s story in one episode.  We’ll tell Bender’s
story in one episode.

RT: So it’s like
multiple perspectives on one long event.

RM: Right.  That’s
what we’re talking about right now.  Hopefully, if enough people watch the
episodes and the DVDs sell, they’ll order more episodes, more movies. I
personally think Futurama would make a great theatrical release.  It just
lends itself to the big screen.

RT: In moving from
network television to cable, have there been changes to the show’s budget?

RM: The budget’s a
little smaller.  But it’s comparable to what it was on Fox.  The writing’s crew
a little smaller, but [we have] all the key people like Ken Keeler, Eric
Kaplan.  Our animation staff is exactly the same as it was on the series, the
same size.  Our CG department’s a little bigger, even.

RT: Considering that
there might not be more episodes after these 16…

RM: How can you say
that?  Oh my God, you jinxed it!

RT: Just in case
that happens, will the last DVD movie have the same kind of closure that "The
Devil’s Hand are Idle Playthings" episode had?

RM: It does have some
closure. When I read "The Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings" script, I was like,
"You know what, this really reeks of the end.  The last show of the series." 
And they did that on purpose, because they knew we might not be renewed.  And
the last DVD movie does have a little bit of that.

Tag Cloud

Year in Review OneApp fresh ghosts MSNBC green book DC Comics hist Elton John 20th Century Fox spider-man comic books werewolf New York Comic Con Election scene in color Logo Turner Classic Movies Image Comics Toys Reality Competition dc Pacific Islander Apple TV+ MTV AMC Plus Horror Amazon Prime rotten Musical king arthur Family toy story transformers Action Awards Tour WarnerMedia Hallmark See It Skip It scene in color film series scene in color series HBO Go mob halloween Teen stoner women 71st Emmy Awards lord of the rings VOD MCU stand-up comedy Walt Disney Pictures Sundance video wonder woman Best and Worst slashers X-Men game show australia historical drama Podcast American Society of Cinematographers Legendary Lifetime Christmas movies action-comedy TBS Holidays Captain marvel crime thriller E! docudrama Hollywood Foreign Press Association italian spider-verse Star Wars TV Land vs. Lionsgate Spectrum Originals criterion hispanic heritage month TCA Winter 2020 94th Oscars streaming new zealand FX on Hulu San Diego Comic-Con streamig live action leaderboard Arrowverse TNT legend elevated horror Pirates Oscars The Walt Disney Company RT History YA indiana jones remakes Best Director Film diversity Winners Calendar period drama comiccon boxoffice superhero Character Guide Opinion Mystery President NYCC Black History Month classics Crackle broadcast Ghostbusters theme song Brie Larson documentary harry potter A&E trailers independent Turner Heroines ratings politics RT21 Cannes Warner Bros. TLC child's play psycho serial killer Premiere Dates batman doctor who Pet Sematary rt archives Extras Star Wars Celebration Mindy Kaling Paramount Plus DC Universe blockbusters zombie discovery ID Creative Arts Emmys VICE concert international CW Seed richard e. Grant game of thrones Thanksgiving USA dreamworks jamie lee curtis rom-coms Mudbound Hallmark Christmas movies Alien movie casting Lifetime GoT Christmas TV movies Disney Plus 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards adaptation Lucasfilm parents Emmys CNN Tarantino streaming movies debate MGM Tags: Comedy video on demand crossover 90s Tomatazos telelvision animated cooking fast and furious ABC Family razzies Amazon Studios Stephen King halloween tv Starz a nightmare on elm street Disney streaming service posters Grammys Apple TV Plus biopic Box Office french SDCC Superheroes Television Critics Association ViacomCBS TCA Awards young adult 93rd Oscars 2019 Fantasy Trivia latino nfl japan cancelled TV series Sci-Fi Peacock Comics on TV indie natural history blaxploitation archives HBO monster movies DirecTV TCA Pop superman versus BBC anime Watching Series TV One documentaries zombies worst Crunchyroll kong Pride Month cartoon The CW Sundance Now Winter TV Universal renewed TV shows Rocky cinemax The Academy screenings medical drama Marvel Studios hollywood dogs Paramount 1990s BBC America BAFTA Hulu Music target scene in color YouTube Premium TV renewals kids PBS FOX slasher die hard docuseries scary movies Pop TV mutant movies Reality directors christmas movies Sneak Peek 24 frames Summer Holiday critic resources heist movie cancelled television twilight Black Mirror Star Trek Television Academy Columbia Pictures police drama Nickelodeon Paramount Network crime adenture IMDb TV Marvel Comedy Central Women's History Month Baby Yoda cops trophy Netflix Adult Swim AMC unscripted target Fox News award winner name the review Musicals Video Games venice YouTube genre all-time based on movie dramedy psychological thriller Funimation golden globes Geeked Week 45 news PaleyFest sag awards rotten movies we love canceled war Rock spy thriller History Ellie Kemper television miniseries reviews joker saw marvel comics Nat Geo satire cancelled Writers Guild of America Broadway Fall TV CMT boxing TV spanish language cars GLAAD Amazon supernatural Trailer mission: impossible Amazon Prime Video LGBTQ ABC FX suspense VH1 CBS All Access Comic Book Tubi comic book movie romantic comedy sports FXX football Academy Awards Ovation cancelled TV shows Indigenous Trophy Talk ABC Signature Rocketman Bravo strong female leads Comic-Con@Home 2021 rt labs asian-american ESPN black comedy vampires Valentine's Day Best Actress new star wars movies APB know your critic spinoff political drama marvel cinematic universe Masterpiece revenge toronto Chernobyl live event OWN popular chucky disaster First Look DGA Hear Us Out cats Western Vudu Fargo laika Martial Arts 2020 Classic Film DC streaming service summer preview Spike SundanceTV A24 Esquire romance spanish science fiction space biography scary Mary Tyler Moore Superheroe foreign hidden camera Epix YouTube Red social media royal family talk show art house TCA 2017 Discovery Channel festival quibi mockumentary Rom-Com Dark Horse Comics Netflix Christmas movies Native universal monsters Animation Pixar SXSW 2022 Anna Paquin scorecard emmy awards festivals aliens deadpool anthology sopranos black stop motion 72 Emmy Awards Cosplay Interview summer TV preview Sundance TV 2018 Nominations 2015 4/20 canceled TV shows comics IFC Films ITV thriller cults Sony Pictures Awards new york Prime Video Certified Fresh obituary japanese series finale WGN South by Southwest Film Festival The Arrangement jurassic park Britbox Fox Searchlight tv talk true crime blockbuster The Walking Dead hispanic facebook technology Endgame BBC One Mary Poppins Returns summer TV pirates of the caribbean El Rey Spring TV Kids & Family breaking bad Cartoon Network 2017 Freeform Film Festival travel Shondaland prank Wes Anderson films Chilling Adventures of Sabrina GIFs singing competition franchise Mary poppins Focus Features comic The Witch Emmy Nominations rt labs critics edition Country BET Avengers Photos Travel Channel Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt children's TV book adaptation Food Network BET Awards Comedy 21st Century Fox LGBT binge nature Syfy TIFF Instagram Live best obi wan Acorn TV teaser critics Polls and Games Countdown Oscar Marathons TCM olympics Infographic reboot spain what to watch james bond NBA Song of Ice and Fire The Purge dark Quiz basketball Paramount Pictures 73rd Emmy Awards USA Network Marvel Television First Reviews National Geographic Tumblr screen actors guild mcc Drama book worst movies IFC comedies south america NBC Shudder dexter sequels Showtime 2021 Best Actor dragons interviews justice league gangster SXSW sitcom 99% adventure PlayStation witnail Apple E3 Exclusive Video robots CBS kaiju free movies Tokyo Olympics zero dark thirty TruTV golden globe awards Neflix Universal Pictures HBO Max king kong HFPA Disney Channel sequel Super Bowl 2016 feel good Disney composers 79th Golden Globes Awards Binge Guide comic book movies high school 007 Red Carpet crime drama Schedule Best Picture Biopics nbcuniversal aapi Disney+ Disney Plus Set visit dceu Sony godzilla