Rick and Morty Takes On Justin Roiland Issue & More Season 7 Notes
Some thoughts on what Adult Swim released regarding Rick and Morty Season 7 - including not shying away from the Justin Roiland situation.
On Thursday, Adult Swim kept its promise from the week before by dropping the premiere date for the seventh season of Dan Harmon & Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty – with Sunday. October 15th, seeing the dimension-hopping duo return for another run of animated adventures. Along with the news, we were also treated to a key art poster with a social media caption that read, "We ride together. We die together. We're buried in the backyard together." The poster featured a very well-armed Rick and Summer, along with Summer sporting loose handcuffs on one arm. What we didn't get was a chance to check out who the new voice actor(s) replacing Roiland – a reveal we hope they don't give us until the season premiere. But what we did get was a brief logline/overview for the new season that addresses the Roiland issues right from the jump – as well as getting into some other interesting areas. Here's a breakdown of what was released and the first thoughts that jump into our brains.
"Rick and Morty are back and sounding more like themselves than ever!": A beautiful line on so many levels that can be read into in so many ways. It was a great way to address "The Issue" without having to name-drop Roiland. Personally, that line reads like a collective sigh of relief from a creative team looking to move forward in a very big way.
"It's season seven, and the possibilities are endless: What's up with Jerry? EVIL Summer?! And will they ever go back to the high school?!": We've seen a lot of growth in Jerry over the course of the previous season – but could that all be leading to something far worse? We're hoping Jerry doesn't revert back to his old ways – that moment in S06E01 "Solaricks" (directed by Jacob Hair and written by Albro Lundy) when Jerry realized he never wanted to go back to being his Season 2 self hit hard emotionally. As for "Evil Summer," could this be a continuation of Summer's journey from the sixth season for something new? The loose handcuff on Summer's arm does not bode well for anyone – especially if Summer retained any traits from her "night" self. The "high school" reference at the end is interesting because even Morty referenced never going to school and not knowing "shit" in a recent episode – a return for a "Tiny Rick"-like adventure would be a nice throwback.
"Maybe not! But let's find out! There's probably less piss than last season. "Rick and Morty," 100 years! Or at least until season 10!": If we need to remind you that you can't always trust the images you see or the overview they share, then we're not sure what Emmy Award-winning animated series that you've been watching for the past six seasons. Bonus points for the Pissmaster reference and the implied uncertainty over just how much piss this season will have compared to the previous one. And that "Season 10" bit at the end was a nice sense of false reassurance…
Rick and Morty Team on Replacing Roiland, Writing Team Stepping Up
Here's a look back at what Rick and Morty Co-EP Steve Levy and Adult Swim President Michael Ouweleen had to share regarding Justin Roiland and the new voice actor(s) being brought aboard – as well as how the Adult Swim series' writing team kept the ship going (all the way to another Emmy nomination – and another possible win):
On Roiland Being Replaced, Voice Acting Being Just One Part of Series & If Viewers Will Notice
Ouweleen: "The idea is that we feel that they are the same characters. Listen: voices are obviously super important in an animated series. And, of course, none of us wanted to go through what we went through. But I've been in animation for a long time, and I know that what makes a series is its different parts coming together. If the voices are obviously a big part, there is also the writing of the characters, their design… I have reason to believe that the transition will go well."
Levy: "The quality of writing has never been better, and all the screenwriters have stayed. I don't think anyone will bat an eyelid hearing the new voices."
Ouweleen: "[On recasting process] But it's looking good. It's a rather unique situation… I'll take an example: there have been several great Bugs Bunny voice actors, and I love what Jeff Bennett has done with them. But it's not Mel Blanc! And yet we recognize the character. I even think that for 'Rick and Morty' we will do even better… It will be fine. It'll be great."
On How "Rick and Morty" Team Responded to Justin Roiland's Departure
Levy: The pill was hard to swallow. We were shocked and disturbed by what happened. But we stuck together, and we put all our energy into the series. We decided to stay positive, and in the end, we produced the best drawings, scripts, and animations of the entire series. And Dan Harmon [the co-creator of Rick and Morty] has always been in the trenches with us every step of the way. He always has an eye on everything, and sometimes that means he asks us to rewrite entire scripts, but for the good of the series. He never walked away after Justin left.
Ouweleen: There is no guide on how to react to this kind of thing. And it's not normal to experience that. Of course, it's hard; of course, it hurts. But when a whole team works on a series, the series actually becomes more important than one person. Season 7 will be pivotal; we know it, but I think we've never done better so far.