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The Rick and Morty team is pulling back the curtain on the long-awaited season four.
The new season rolls out in November, more than two years after the season three finale aired on Adult Swim. Co-creators Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon have been known for long gaps between seasons because of their demanding creative standards, but this time around, they note the wait was largely because of complicated dealmaking that led to a 70-episode renewal from Adult Swim last year.
“It took us a year-and-a-half to get in writing that we were allowed to do the show,” Harmon said Friday at Comic-Con, with Roiland adding, “There was a lot of stuff between three and four that won’t have to happen [again].”
Harmon and Roiland were joined by castmembers Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell, who were greeted with fans dressed up as characters such as Evil Morty and Million Ants.
“‘No, for real. We will actually not do the show. Pay us a billion, zillion dollars,’ ” he joked that he told Adult Swim. “And they were like ‘Come on guys, you guys love do [the show].’ I’ll call that bluff. “Call NBC, ask them how prudent I am. How practical.”
Harmon added: “That took a year-and-a-half … the whole reason on our side was we want to be able to do this show for a living.”
Grammer noted of the exacting nature of the series means that Harmon will sometimes give her readings of her character Summer’s lines. For the current season, Grammer said she’s recorded Summer’s storyline “about six times,” as she became more or less involved in different plots.
Among new footage the team showed was a clip showing a Taika Waititi-voiced alien who works as Rick’s intern and developed a dangerous app that Morty and Jerry are trying to stop.
The audience was also treated to a cold open that did not yet have completed animation. It involved Jerry attempting to hang up Christmas lights, but falling off a ladder, only to be saved by Rick zapping with him a raygun that made his son-in-law lighter than air. Rick notes that he finds it more impressive than walking on water, saying, “I wasn’t born into the God business. I fucking earned it.”
Later, Rick and Morty go off on a space adventure, with Rick forbidding his grandson from going outside the ship for repairs. Morty disobeys, and is soon bitten by a tiny, helmet-wearing snake.
With a show that deals with infinite timelines and protagonists who can move to different universes, the team was asked if they knew if Morty was actually Rick’s original Morty.
“We have those questions in our heads, but we are afraid to answer those sort of things. They are harder to answer, even for us,” said Roiland. “It’s Schrodinger’s Cat so we don’t know if we’re alive or dead.”
They were also asked about fan favorite characters, such as Mr. Meeseeks, returning.
“I think there’s going to be a couple meeseeks,” said Harmon to applause.
Rick and Morty returns in November.
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