When Newsarama sat down to interview voice over artist Phil Lamarr recently about his role in the mysterious Avengers animated series, we got tons of new information aboutthe coming series. But during the interview, we also got to chat with him about some of his other roles. Ever hear of a little show called Futurama? Something about a renewal with new actors? Thankfully that didn't happen (though the fan riots would have been pretty epic) and Lamarr gave us a few hints about what's coming. And since all animated series seem to have a must-cast-Phil-Lamarr clause, we had to ask him about Clone Wars as well. Where's it going and how you balance the kid's show vibe with the inevitable ending...Anakin is Darth Vader, and Ahsoka is absent in the third film. That can't end well. (Check out our Avengers interview here.)
Newsarama: What is the deal with the new season of Futurama? When is that starting up again?
Phil Lamarr: Not positive. I believe either Summer or Fall of this year. I mean, I don't know for certain, but it should be ready. Just technically, from when we started recording to the amount of time it usually takes these things to get done. Whether they start airing when they're ready, I don't know.
Nrama: When did you guys start recording?
Lamarr: We started last fall. Fall of 2009...the new episodes, in my opinion, are the best yet. They're really, really funny. Some of them are really, really thoughtful as well. The guys have come back to the show with renewed energy. The writers and producers. And they're happy to be back, and know the world and the characters so well that they're able to...it feels like they're better at it. They're able to do more with it than they were before.
Nrama: Any hints you can drop? Is there anything you're allowed to say?
Lamarr: The question is, is there anything I remember? [laughs] They haven't actually said, 'Don't say this.' Are there any super surprises that come back? Hmm, well, I don't want to ruin any of the guest stars. There are some topical episodes, but topical a thousand years in the future.
Nrama: Any returning characters we might not be expecting?
Lamarr: So far I don't think there is anyone you wouldn't be expecting, except maybe a Vice President or two. [laughs]
Nrama: So what's going on with Star Wars: The Clone Wars?
Nrama: Anything you're allowed to tell me?
Lamarr: [laughs] Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, because they're serious about their non-disclosure. We don't get to keep the scripts. Like, if you forget to bring it...they send you a script at home and you bring it back. One time I forgot my script at home, and they said, 'Here. This is a FedEx packet. When you get home, put it in this and send it.' They're not messing around. But we're having a lot of fun on Clone Wars. Now, what can I tell you? The new season has a shift. The stuff that Dave Filoni is doing...he's taking it to a slightly darker place, because we're heading towards the third movie, where things get bad. And this is paving the way. Specifics? A lot of senate intrigue, which is good for me, because I'm playing Bail Organa. [laughs] But Dave is smart enough to know...nobody wants to see senate votes. So he's really taking those issues and personalizing it to Padme (Catherine Taber), and giving them action elements as well.
Nrama: One of the things I asked Dave before the show started was, how do you take a kid's cartoon and make it get darker...I mean, your main character Anakin (Matt Lanter) is going to be one of the classic all time villains. He has these relationships with other characters, like Ahsoka (Ashley Eckstein)...
Lamarr: Right! And what happens to Ahsoka? That's the huge question. She's not in the movie!
Nrama: I know! Is she sent away? Does she die? Does she disappear?
Lamarr: He's never told us.
Nrama: You guys have no idea? I wonder if he knows.
Lamarr: I don't know. I feel like he does. I think they have an idea.
Nrama: But not knowing how many seasons you're going to do...it's got to be difficult to pace.
Lamarr: Right. Well, they've also flashed back a little bit. That is part of it. Because, yeah, you do have a finite amount of time to cover. So some of the stories have gone back and some of them continue to march forward.