After a tense half-year with no Rick and Morty Season 4 renewal, we finally have an answer: Adult Swim renewed the show for a whopping 70 more episodes, which in theory could mean we’ll wind up with ten seasons of the show, or longer seasons moving forward.
On Thursday, Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland tweeted out a confirmation that 70 more episodes of the show were coming. It includes a photo of a page from a notebook in which a crudely drawn Rick Sanchez tells Morty that it’s “official” that they’re getting “70 more adventures.”
70 more adventures!?
We can’t possibly know how many more seasons this translates into, but the show’s other co-creator Dan Harmon is on record saying Season 4 would be 14 episodes long. That could mean we’ll get another five seasons of Rick and Morty at 14 episodes each. And that’s just what’s currently scheduled. Rick did say he’ll hunt for Szechuan Sauce even if it took him nine seasons, so maybe that’s what we should expect?
Here’s the officially unofficial confirmation of the new episodes:
And in case this seems a little bit too good to be true, Adult Swim followed it up with its own confirmation:
Somehow it’s taken seven months to get to this point since Season 3 ended in October 2017. And as exciting as this news sounds, we still have one hell of a wait until Season 4 actually starts.
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In January 2018, Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley said that nobody was working on Season 4, which could mean that nobody’s done anything on the show until now. It’s entirely possible that Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, along with their team of writers, haven’t written a single word down. They’d need to write Season 4, however long it is, and then they have to send it off to the animators and get the voice actors involved. This time-consuming process is why we’ve always gotten a lot of time in between season, and the gap between Season 3 and 4 might be the longest we’ve ever had to endure.
Consider that Adult Swim renewed Rick and Morty for Season 3 immediately after a successful Season 2 premiere in August 2015. And there were 18 months between the end of Season 2 and the Season 3 premiere, so calling this new situation unprecedented is totally accurate.
“Unprecedented” is exactly the word Harmon used to describe negotiations with Turner (parent company of Adult Swim) while at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, saying: “Negotiations are tough. It’s an unprecedented situation, and everybody’s being real cool and wants to make an agreement happen so that we can get started. That’s about all I can say.”
It’s hard to speculate about what all this means, but it’s entirely possible that the “suits” at Turner (as Harmon calls them) recognized how valuable Rick and Morty was to the company. (After all, the fan base was so large that it forced McDonald’s to revive a decades-old dipping sauce.) Maybe Turner wanted a huge episode order like this, and it took this long for the show’s creators to acquiesce?
We might never learn the real reasons behind this long delay, but rest assured, we’ll all be very lucky if new Rick and Morty episodes air during 2019 at all.