Wubba lubba dub dub!
Season three of Rick and Morty finished just over a year ago, and plenty of fans of the hit animated show are still patiently waiting for fresh news about season four. The wacky series has enraptured millions of viewers since it debuted in 2013, so the big question is this: when is it coming back?
- Rick and Morty composer Ryan Elder confirmed to Inverse in October that season four is still being written: “I know they’re writing it, and usually that means that it’s not too long before I get involved.”
Will there be a season four of Rick and Morty?
Yes! Adult Swim confirmed back in May 2018 that a mammoth 70 more episodes of Rick and Morty have been commissioned. There’s only been 31 episodes of the show so far, meaning that Rick and Morty could be on the air for a very, very long time to come – although it’s still not known yet how many episodes season four will have (more on that below).
Co-creator Justin Roiland marked the news of the 70-episode commission on May 10 with this special drawing of the titular characters.
Roiland also celebrated the news in an Instagram video with fellow Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon, which featured the pair taking a shower together with Roiland quipping: “I’ve gotta get back to work! We both do!”
So when could we expect Rick and Morty season four to be released?
In like, a really long time: that’s all that fans of the show have officially been told so far about a possible release date for season four.
A post-credits scene in the season three finale, ‘The Rickchurian Mortydate’, saw the return of fan favourite Mr Poopybutthole, who also suggested that season four may not be happening for a “really long time” – adding that he could even have grand-kids and a beard by the time the next season of Rick and Morty arrives. However, Mr Poopybutthole did reference a “big, white Santa Claus beard” in his monologue, which some fans have theorised is a reference to a possible Christmas 2018 special.
But season four itself may not arrive until at least late 2019. Ryan Ridley, a writer and producer on the show, said back in January 2018 that he would be surprised if there was a fourth season before that vague date. “They really take their time,” he told the Detroit Cast. “I’m just shocked that it’s taking [so long] – we got done writing season 3 in November of last year and here we are 11 months later,” he added. “And then I know how long the show takes to write, let alone animate, so it’s just like, I’d be surprised if there was a fourth season on the air any sooner than 2019 – in late 2019.”
Roiland told Polygon in June 2018 that he and his fellow writers had re-entered the writers’ room: “It’s exciting, it’s a little surreal. Even just being in the writers room for half the day every day this week, the ideas are … it’s going to be great.”
He also assured fans that the gaps between seasons would no longer be as lengthy as before. “We‘re super excited that, for the first time ever, we’re locked in, we know what the future is, we have job security,” Roiland said. ”Harmon is in great spirits, we have a great writer’s room. We want the episodes to stay good, but we do also want to try to turn them around a little quicker now that we have this big order.”
Rick and Morty composer Ryan Elder confirmed to Inverse in October that season four is still in the process of being written: “I know they’re writing it, and usually that means that it’s not too long before I get involved… So, my hope is that they’re holding off stuff so that they’ll send me stuff once I get done with [another project].”
How many episodes will there be?
It’s still yet to be confirmed. Previous seasons of the show have contained either 10 or 11 episodes, but Dan Harmon has expressed an interest in possibly making 14 episodes for season four.
“I would like to think I’ve learned enough from my mistakes in season three that we could definitely do 14 now, but then I have to say, ‘Yeah but you’re the guy who says we can do 14 who turned out to be wrong so we’re not listening to you now,'” he told Entertainment Weekly back in September 2017. “The nice healthy way to approach this is I want to prove it with the first 10 of season four — prove it to ourselves, to production, to the network — that it’s so easy that we’ll earn additional episodes.
Are there any trailers for Rick and Morty season four yet?
The show’s Twitter account released a short teaser clip in August 2018 which saw the dynamic duo transformed into superheroes (and referencing fan favourite Pickle Rick, too). It’s still not clear whether the below 15-second video was actually a trailer for season four, however.
What about any possible guest stars?
Rick and Morty season three featured the likes of Peter Serafinowicz, Danny Trejo and Joel McHale – but, as of yet, no guests have been confirmed for season four.
Could Kanye West guest star? Maybe: Kanye expressed his love for the Adult Swim show back in May as news broke about Rick and Morty being renewed for season 4. “This is the greatest news. This is my favourite show. I’ve seen every episode at least 5 times each,” he tweeted at the time. He even invited co-creator Justin Roiland to hang out.
In July, Back to the Future’s Christopher Lloyd expressed an interest in lending his voice to the show. Many fans will know that Rick and Morty is inspired by Lloyd’s character, Doc Brown, and Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly from the 1985 sci-fi film.
Speaking to the Phoenix New Times about possibly starring in the new season, Lloyd said: “I’d like to, of course. I think it’s really fun. I don’t follow it closely, but I’ve seen a few episodes and I gotta tell you, I think it’s a lot of fun. I know it’s some kind of parody of Doc and Marty.”
When asked if he would accept the role of Rick’s father, Lloyd replied: “That’d be fun.”
What about old characters returning?
We don’t know for certain about any returning characters yet – but we do know that a fan favourite, Butter Bot, won’t be returning. In a recent advert that the producers of Rick and Morty created for Old Spice, we saw the beloved robot being brutally murdered as he’s eaten by a massive anthropomorphic can of Old Spice.
One character that fans of Rick and Morty would love to see again is Pickle Rick. Adult Swim have capitalised on the huge popularity of Rick’s pickle experiment by releasing audio outtakes of Roiland recording one scene from that episode – check it out below.
And any idea yet of any potential plot details?
Season three left us with questions: What happened to Evil Morty? Is there actually a Clone Beth? So, there’s every chance that season four could be used to tie up those – and many, many more – loose threads.
There was a small clue about the content of season four in the season three finale: Beth made a meta comment about the family being reunited, saying that it would now be like season one “but more streamlined.” With Jerry and Beth’s divorce seemingly being called off, we could see more antics from the entire Smith family in season four.