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    The Bizarre Fox Meeting That Led To Four Entire Futurama Movies

    Describing the meeting with Comedy Central in the DVD commentary for “Bender’s Big Score,” co-creator David X Cohen explained how he and co-creator Matt Groening came in expecting to just do one movie, only for the studio heads to quickly tell them it’d be more “economically viable” to do two. “So then the discussion went back and forth and we said, like, ‘Well, if we’re doing two, we can actually do it more efficiently if we do three,'” Cohen said. “And they said, ‘Okay.’ And we said, ‘In fact, if we did four, that would be one percent more efficient even.'”

    By this point, the studio heads seemed to realize they’d just negotiated their way into a whole season’s worth of “Futurama” material; what must’ve been intended as an easy, low-commitment way to profit off of the show’s pre-existing fanbase had now turned into something much bigger. As Groening recalled, “All I remember is we said four and they said, ‘Okay, fine, four, but that’s it, stop!'” 

    And so, “Futurama” fans got four movies, the last of which (“Into the Wild Green Yonder”) could’ve easily served as the series finale if Comedy Central hadn’t ordered a new season afterward. However, it’s “Bender’s Big Score” that’s typically listed as the fans’ favorite; it’s filled with fan service that was well-appreciated after five years of the show’s absence, and its constant returns to the show’s inciting incident in 1999 made it feel extremely significant as a part of the show’s canon. But all four movies were miracles as far as the fans were concerned at the time, and the showrunners felt that way most of all. As Cohen put it in the DVD commentary, “That was a really stunning, positive meeting after years of hearing nothing.”

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