It’s been a long, long time since Rick and Morty Season 3 ended back in October 2017, and more than a year and a half later, we finally know when the mature animated sci-fi series will return to grace our eyeholes. On May 15, Adult Swim announced that Rick and Morty Season 4 will premiere this November with what we think will be a 10-episode Season 4.
That’s pretty much in line with all of our previous best guesses, especially after Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland dropped a hints in March that production was going “preeeetty great”. Remember, Adult Swim ordered a whopping 70 Rick and Morty episodes back May 2018, which should mean that we won’t see this long of a hiatus between Season 4 and 5.
Rick and Morty’s popularity exploded during the almost two-year break between Seasons 2 and 3. Today, it’s a bonafide phenomenon that even forced McDonald’s to resurrect its formerly extinct Szechuan Sauce with disastrous results. And that excitement has only grown during the long wait for Rick and Morty Season 4.
Despite a vague release window, we still don’t know that much about Rick and Morty Season 4. But here’s every detail we could find about the upcoming episodes, from possible plot details to production updates, enhanced with some speculation straight out of an interdimensional data aggregator we forced Rick D-20420 to build from spare MacBook Pro parts.
The Rick and Morty Team Moved Into a New Office!
This probably didn’t impact the show’s development schedule in any significant way, but on May 22, the official Rick and Morty social media accounts shared an image from a “Rick and Morty meeting” that presumably happened at the team’s new office.
Supervising producer Mike McMahan tweeted on May 21 about the move, as did series co-creator Dan Harmon, who showed off the new office’s Pickle Rick and Plumbus salt and pepper shakers. Fun times for the R&M team.
Sarah Chalke, Voice of Beth, Was Actively Working on Rick and Morty Season 4 in April 2019
In an interview with ET Canada published April 15 (in the above video), actress Sarah Chalke — who voices Beth Smith — confirmed she’s fast at work on the new season. “It’s coming. I cannot say when,” she said. “We’re making them right now though!”
We previously knew for sure that Justin Roiland, who voices both title characters, was also recording lines for the show. But if Chalke is also actively working, then it’s a good sign that audio recording is proceeding.
Justin Roiland Says Season 4 Is “Feeling Preeeetty Great”
After a lengthy lull in terms of Rick and Morty Season 4 news, series co-creator Justin Roiland shared the above tweet on March 16: “The new Rick and Morty episodes are feeling preeeetty great.”
This could mean any number of things, but the most optimistic interpretation is that production is very far along and Roiland is referencing one or more episodes in the new season that are getting very close to completion.
Is it worth pondering why he included a grand total of four E’s in his post? Nope! The guy’s just really excited about Season 4.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Almost Shared a Voice Actor With Star Wars Resistance
In an exclusive interview with Inverse, actor Josh Brener — who voices the alien Neeku Vozo in Star Wars Resistance — revealed that he auditioned for a role in Season 4. “I did audition for a role on the new season of Rick and Morty,” Brener said. “But I don’t think I got it because I never heard back.” Brener describe the role as “a high school kid” but didn’t elaborate beyond that.
In Star Wars Resistance, Brener voices an awkward but enthusastic alien mechanic, and in the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series, he voices Donatello, the nerdy turtle with a purple bandana. It’s safe to assume that Brener is typecast as nerdy characters in his voice work. That might be a clue about the Season 4 role he almost had.
Rick and Morty Season 4 Will Probably Include Interdimensional Cable 3
Justin Roiland, who voices both Rick and Morty, shared an image from inside a recording studio on February 8. Nothing about the photo itself is interesting or surprising, but his caption offers a clue: “Idc3 (maybe) @rickandmorty,” he writes. “I-D-C-3” must stand for Interdimensional Cable 3 (sometimes stylized as “Inter-Dimensional Cable,” hence the IDC).
This anthological Rick and Morty episode structure has Rick Sanchez hack into a regular cable box so everyone can watch an 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.)
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, Episode 8 to be precise. That is, assuming the new season follows a similar structure as the previous three.
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 they don’t actually mean anything. And they definitely don’t count as any kind of trailer.
How the Rick and Morty Season 3 Ending Sets Up Season 4
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 ended their ongoing separation by rekindling 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. The last time Rick and Morty felt like this, it was late Season 2.
According to Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon in a September 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly, the episode felt like it might’ve been cut short because the team “finale-ified” it when they realized they had to cut the season to 10 episodes instead of 14. It wasn’t originally intended as the finale. What lingering plots were left on the cutting room floor, and will they get 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? Or just a fun joke?
“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 do just that.
What Is the Rick and Morty Season 4 Release Date?
Adult Swim announced on May 15 that Rick and Morty will return November 2019. The news was revealed during Warner Media’s Upfront presentation, and while we still don’t have a specific Season 4 release date, this is the closest we’ve come so far.
Season 4 might kick off with a Thanksgiving Special in late November, but a new Rick and Morty-themed Dungeons & Dragons adventure book will be released on November 19. Could the show begin the Sunday before or after? Almost definitely.
The late 2019 launch lines up with our previous suspicions. After all, Mr. Poopybutthole said Season 4 wouldn’t be out for “a really long time” in the Season 3 post-credits scene. 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 wasn’t officially renewed for Season 4 until 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 late last spring at the earliest.
Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley also estimated in January 2018 that Season 4 wouldn’t premiere until late 2019. It looks like he was right all along.
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.
On March 11, Vancouver based background artist Amanda Wong announced via Twitter that she’d been working on Rick and Morty Season 4. She worked previously on background coloring and illustrations for Rick and Morty Season 2. She’s likely doing contract work through Bardel to help with production on backgrounds in Season 4.
On March 15, former Rick and Morty artist Erica Hayes, who’s now a director on Season 4, tweeted, “We’re drawing it!” This is a reference to a popular line from Dan Harmon during the recording of a Harmontown podcast in February 2017. When asked about the status of Rick and Morty Season 3, he said, “They’re drawing it! Once they’re done, Adult Swim will decide when to release it.”
Now that the Rick and Morty Season 4 release date is set for November, that likely means the drawing process is done. All that’s left is the final animation and editing process.
How Many Episodes Is Rick and Morty Season 4?
14 episodes was 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.
The Rick and Morty team might be aiming for a longer episode run with Season 4, but it’s far more reasonable for us to expect the usual 10 or 11 episodes for Season 4. In fact, more evidence emerged in late May 2019 to support this assumption.
In May 2019, Dan Harmon trolled fans with a bunch of bizarre Rick and Morty Season 5 plot ideas on sticky notes, but one comment on one of the Instagram posts from Justin Roiland has us wondering if he low-key dropped the number of Season 4 episodes.
One of the top comments in the above Instagram post reads, “These are the next 60 episodes right?”
Dan Harmon referred to these notes as “Season 5 ideas” in another post, so if we know that Rick and Morty was renewed for another 70 episodes, then is this subtle confirmation that Season 4 will be 10 episodes?
Who Are the Rick and Morty Season 4 Guest Stars?
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?
In May 2019, Harmon and Roiland discussed how they cast Paul Giamatti in a Season 4 role before awkwardly referencing something that Roiland did with Elon Musk. Maybe they’ll both voice characters in the new season?
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.
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 come together 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. What if he was Rick Sanchez’ time-traveling father?
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. 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 former 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 May 31, 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 actively working on.
Catch up on the first three seasons of Rick and Morty on Hulu.
Watch Inverse breakdown Dan Harmon’s story circle for each and every episode. It’ll soothe the soul while you wait for Season 4.