Everyone’s favorite interdimensional duo, Morty Smith and Rick Sanchez, have been on vacation ever since Rick and Morty Season 3 ended in October 2017. As we inch ever closer to the 1.5-years-later mark, we still know barely anything about when Season 4 might grace our eyeholes.
So far, the earliest we can expect a Season 4 premiere is sometime during summer 2019 — but it’s likely that it won’t happen until much later.
From the creative minds of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, Rick and Morty is a mature sci-fi comedy adventure series. Its popularity exploded during the almost two-year hiatus between Seasons 2 and 3. These days, the show is a bonafide phenomenon that can force even McDonald’s to resurrect the formerly extinct Szechuan Sauce. So while everyone waits for news about Season 4, intrigue only further peaks.
We don’t know much about Season 4, but we’ll do our best to round up the various tidbits of information, rumors, and best theories.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Will Probably Include Interdimensional Cable 3
Series co-creator Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty, shared an image from inside a recording studio on February 8. While the photo itself isn’t all that surprising, his caption offers a telling clue: “Idc3 (maybe) @rickandmorty,” he writes. “I-D-C-3” undoubtedly stands for Interdimensional Cable 3 (sometimes stylized as “Inter-Dimensional Cable”).
This anthological Rick and Morty episode structure has Rick Sanchez hack into a regular cable box so that it gains access to the entire multiverse worth of television. “Rixty Minutes” in Season 1 and “Interdimensional Cable 2: Tempting Fate” in Season 2 both used the concept in Episode 8 of their respective seasons. (Episode 8 of Season 3 instead went to “Morty’s Mind Blowers,” a similar but different episode style.)
So not only does this post imply that Season 4 will include Interdimensional Cable 3, but it’s also a strong indication that Roiland is recording episodes from rather late in the season. Could that mean the Season 4 premiere might be much sooner than expected?
Is There a Trailer for Rick and Morty Season 4?
Contrary to what many across the internet say whenever Adult Swim releases a new Rick and Morty commercial, there are no trailers or teasers for Season 4 yet
Here’s one example of a false alarm: On January 2, Adult Swim released a trippy 15-second video clip called “Rick vs Morty.” It featured a bizarre animation style that showed a Shark Rick eating a Fish Morty, a Hippo Rick eating a Bird Morty, and a Godzilla Rick attacking Mothra Morty — among other disturbing images.
Even if the final image is of Evil Morty with his eyepatch, this is just a fun, random commercial that doesn’t mean anything for Season 4.
Many television networks produce these kinds of videos — known as “idents” — as a reminder to viewers in the middle of commercial breaks: “Hey! Watch this cool video. Don’t forget you’re watching Adult Swim.”
These are all super fun to watch, but again, they’re meaningless when trying to glean any information about Season 4. Rest assured, we’re still a long way away from any kind of legitimate trailer.
Rick and Morty Season 3 Ending
The Rick and Morty Season 3 finale ended things in a place that felt strangely normal, especially when compared to the Season 2 cliffhanger that left Rick imprisoned and Earth overrun by the Galactic Federation. “The Rickchurian Mortydate” pitted Rick against the president of the United States and made us wonder whether or not Beth was actually a clone of herself — but both of these plot threads just sort of ended.
During the episode, Beth and Jerry reconciled their differences and resumed their marriage. In the final shot of “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” the whole Smith family sat at the dinner table, and everyone was laughing at Rick. That’s pretty mundane, leaving it open for Season 4 to go in all sorts of different directions.
According to Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon in a September 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the episode felt that way because the team “finale-ified” it when they realized they had to cut the season to 10 episodes instead of 14. What lingering plots were left on the cutting room floor to be picked up again for Season 4?
What’s the Plot of Rick and Morty Season 4?
Nothing is certain yet when it comes to the plot of Rick and Morty Season 4, but one of the show’s storyboard artists started dropping hints in November 2018 about a hugely important recurring plotline. Evil Morty and the Citadel could return.
On November 7, Newsweek noticed some interesting activity from Rick and Morty storyboard artist Douglas Einar Olsen.
The day before the US midterm elections, on November 6, Olsen tweeted images of several Mortys urging everyone to “fucking vote!” Olsen captioned the tweet, “Aw jeez, do we really want an Evil Morty to rule the Citadel??” (Note: This tweet has since been deleted.)
Here’s where it gets interesting: When a fan pestered him about Season 4, he said, “Guess we’ll just have to see how his administration is fairing this upcoming season!”
Is that confirmation of Evil Morty’s return? This tweet has also since been deleted, so we really don’t know.
“The Ricklantis Mixup” in Season 3 might not have won an Emmy like “Pickle Rick,” but the “Tales From the Citadel” stories represent some of the best storytelling and world-building that Rick and Morty has ever done. To not follow through on that hugely important episode would be nothing short of criminal. Olsen, at the very least, is implying here that Season 4 will follow up on that storyline.
What Is the Rick and Morty Season 4 Release Date?
Adult Swim has not announced a Season 4 release date, but it probably won’t be until much later in 2019. Mr. Poopybutthole said Season 4 wouldn’t be out for “a really long time.” The last time the character delivered a scene like this at the end of Season 2, fans had to wait almost two years for Season 3.
Rick and Morty was only officially renewed for a fourth season in May 2018, so even if the co-creators and writers had ideas for the new season ready to go, they probably weren’t working on it at all until that point.
Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley estimated in January 2018 that Season 4 wouldn’t premiere until late 2019, and that’s really the only straightforward estimation anyone has made.
How Far Along Is Rick and Morty Season 4 Production?
In January 2019, Rick and Morty’s animation supervisor, Eric Bofa Nfon, tweeted confirmation that Bardel Entertainment had begun work animating Season 4.
Supposedly, this stage of production during Season 3 began in September 2016, and the Season 3 premiere aired about seven months later. So that could be an indication that we’re actively looking at a Season 4 premiere in August 2019. But this is purely speculative.
Either way, for Rick and Morty to reach this stage is an important milestone.
Has Composer Ryan Elder Begun Recording Music for Rick and Morty Season 4 Yet?
In a conversation with Rick and Morty composer Ryan Elder in early October 2018, Elder told Inverse he hadn’t gotten to work on anything from Season 4 just yet. He also noted that his part in the production begins around the middle and continues right up until the very end.
“I am not involved at all yet in anything with the new episodes,” Elder told Inverse. “I hope that it’ll be soon, but I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to them. I know they’re writing it, and usually, that means that it’s not too long before I get involved.”
Elder did note he’d been focusing on the release of the official Rick and Morty soundtrack on September 28 and then the Rick and Morty Musical Ricksperience as part of the Adult Swim Festival on October 7. “My hope is that they’re holding off stuff so that they’ll send me stuff once I get done with this,” Elder said. “But I don’t know if that’s true or not. I literally have no idea. I take it as it comes. When it comes in the door, I drop everything.”
It’s possible he was working on it by the end of October, but there’s no way to know.
How Many Episodes Is Rick and Morty Season 4?
That was also once the ambition for Season 3, but some kind of creative conflict between Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland seemingly caused long production delays that eventually shortened the season to only 10 episodes.
So we’ll believe 14 episodes when we see it made official. Otherwise, we can all probably expect 10 or 11 episodes for Season 4. And let’s not forget the 60 or so episodes after that to reach the total of 70 more ordered by Adult Swim.
Who Is in the Rick and Morty Season 4 Cast?
The entire core voice cast is slated to return in Season 4. Co-creator Justin Roiland voices both Morty and Rick himself. Chris Parnell, Sarah Chalke, and Spencer Grammer should also return as Jerry, Beth, and Summer Smith as well.
Beyond that, it’s unclear what characters could return or what higher-profile guest stars might lend their talents. Morty’s longtime crush, Jessica (Kari Wahlgren), is all but certain to return for at least a few episodes. Plenty of other minor characters will likely appear as well.
Who Are the Rick and Morty Season 4 Guest Stars?
On October 31, 2018, Jurassic Park star Sam Neill tweeted, “I enjoyed working with @RickandMorty last week ….” with a generic photo from the show’s promotional materials. Can we safely assume that he recorded vocal work as a guest star for Season 4? Probably! We sincerely hope he’s involved in a return to Anatomy Park.
Each season usually offers a handful of recognizable guest stars. Season 3 alone had 12 different guest stars, like Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, and Thomas Middleditch, to name a few. Who might return?
Keith David’s president of the United States has appeared in Seasons 2 and 3, so it’s reasonable to assume he might appear in Season 4 as well. Supernova, a purple cosmic being with superpowers voiced by Gillian Jacobs, is the only surviving member of the Vindicators. Given the way she parted ways with Morty and Rick in Season 3, she might return to the show as a villain at some point.
Justin Roiland has also said he’d love to bring the intelligent white dog Snuffles/Snowball back on the show, which would probably require voice actor Rob Paulsen.
Dan Harmon also admitted in May 2018 that he desperately wanted Ice-T to voice a character on the show, so that could happen in time for Season 4.
Actor Christopher Lloyd, who played Dr. Emmett Brown in the Back to the Future movies, publicly said in July 2018 that he’d be totally down to lend his voice to the show. Considering Rick and Morty started off as a Back to the Future parody, that would make for one really exciting guest star.
When Does Rick and Morty Air Each Week?
Other than the Season 3 premiere, all of Rick and Morty Season 3 aired on Sunday nights at 11:30 p.m. Eastern, with episodes being made available afterward on Adult Swim’s website.
Technically, any time slot within Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block of programming is fair game, and that occurs nightly between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. So it’s possible that Rick and Morty Season 4 might get a more favorable time slot. Adult Swim doesn’t need to do much to get fans to watch the show, but an earlier time slot would make it easier for new fans to get into the program.
What Else Are Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland Working On?
In addition to sharing showrunner duties on Rick and Morty, both Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland have other creative projects as well.
Harmon continues his Harmontown comedy podcast with actor Jeff B. Davis and also co-hosts another podcast about racism in the comedy industry called Whiting Wongs with Rick and Morty writer Jessica Gao. In theory, a third season of Harmon’s live-play Dungeons and Dragons show called HarmonQuest should also be in development. Harmon was also hired in July 2017 to adapt Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan for television.
Roiland has run Squanch Games since it began in 2016. The video game developer with a focus on VR has published Accounting+ and Dr. Splorchy Presents: Space Heroes with Trover Saves the Universe due out in early 2019. Along with Rick and Morty’s Mike McMahan, Roiland was also hired by Hulu to produce an animated sci-fi series called Solar Opposites, which is set to premiere sometime in 2020.
McMahan is also flying solo on an upcoming animated comedy series for CBS All Access set in the Star Trek universe called Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Both Roiland and Harmon have a lot going on, but as of this writing, Rick and Morty Season 4 seems like the primary project they’re currently working on.
Catch up on the first three seasons of Rick and Morty on Hulu.
Here’s a pleasant little promo video of Mr. Poopybutthole just playing some tunes in the beauty of nature. It’ll soothe the soul while you wait for Season 4.