Before being cast as the Wish Master, Prismo, in 2012, Nanjiani was a relatively unknown comedian. However, he slowly began to garner fame over the years, with his role as Dinesh Chugtai in HBO's Silicon Valley in 2014, in the romantic comedy The Big Sick, and finally a lead in Eternals as Kingo.
The last time Nanjiani voiced the Cosmic Entity was in the video game Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion in 2018, so while it's been years since he voiced the character, fans were still shocked to learn of his recasting.
An Unwanted Recast on All Sides
A few days after the premiere of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake on HBO Max, it was revealed that Kumail Nanjiani would not return as Prismo and that Sean Rohani would be voicing the living shadow instead.
On September 3, Nanjiani responded to the news on X (formally Twitter), saying that he "would have loved to have voiced Prismo again" but that "they never asked me to come back and voice him again:"
"Yeah, that's not me. I would have loved to have voiced Prismo again. He's one of my absolute favorite characters I've ever had the honor of playing. He is very close to my hear. Unfortunately, they never asked me to come back and voice him again. I would have done it for free."
The showrunner for Adventure Time and Fionna and Cake, Adam Muto, responded to Nanjiani (in now deleted posts) that they "would have loved to have you back" and that "several offers went out to your reps" but only got back "a respectful pass:"
"Hey, we would have loved to have you back. We were told by casting that several offers went out to your reps. We said we could be flexible in scheduling but received a respectful pass. Sorry it didn't work out."
Nanjiani was shocked by this news and claimed that his reps "never told [him]" of the offer to return as Prismo and that "I will be talking to my reps" while congratulating Muto on the show's premiere:
"Wow. They never told me. That is ridiculous. I am very sorry for that. And I will be talking to my reps. Can you tell me when you would have sent the offer? I want to figure out what happened. And congrats on the premiere!"
"Hey Jake, See That? Monkey's Paw"
It's entirely possible that Nanjiani's reps weren't aware of the significance of Prismo as a character to their client or fans. On top of that, they might have considered the role beneath Nanjiani, who had starred in an MCU movie and had a guest-star role in the Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi by that point.
What might contradict that Nanjiani voiced Howell in Bee & Puppycat: Lazy in Space last year. Another animated series from Adventure Time veteran Natasha Allegri, who, ironically, created the characters of Fionna and Cake. However, the series wasn't finished until at least 2020 and was only distributed by Netflix in 2022.
This means it's possible that Nanjiani could have recorded his lines anytime between 2017 (when production began) and 2020, putting it before he made it big. So, it doesn't necessarily exclude Nanjiani's reps deliberately keeping the role of Prismo away from him due to it not being lucrative or big enough.
Regardless of how or why it happened, it's a severe miscommunication that Nanjiani will hopefully resolve with his reps. In the meantime, fans should give Sean Rohani a chance at the Wish Master.
The first two episodes of Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake are streaming now on HBO Max.