It was back in March 2019, before Rick and Morty‘s fourth season even aired, that creator Dan Harmon announced he was working on a fifth edition. With season four having concluded back in May, work has now begun in earnest on the next batch of episodes, though over marathon Zoom sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With a potential new idea for the rollout of episodes, an intriguing early teaser, and some prominent fan theories and leftover Easter eggs to tackle, there’s a lot to sort out in round five. Here’s everything we know so far about Rick and Morty season 5.
Rick and Morty season 5 release date: when is the new season coming out?
There is no firm release date yet, but work is most certainly underway on the new season.
Co-creator Dan Harmon revealed last month that the show’s producers were working on season five while in lockdown, telling The Wrap: “We had already finished season four, and the writers are working on season five in two-hour blocks through Zoom. There are a lot of things that are better about a Zoom writers’ room, and they are balanced out by things that are worse.”
Back upon the release of season four, Harmon and Justin Roiland said that in the future, they don’t want to repeat the kind of gap between seasons that occurred between the show’s third and fourth outings, hinting that that particular gap (around two and a half years) would be the longest between any seasons in the show’s past and future.
The pair told EW about the upcoming episodes and confirmed that “the plan has always been to get them out quicker,” with Harmon adding: “I think it’s safe to say without fear of being wrong that the gap between seasons three and four will be the longest and last time that it’s ever so long that it’s ridiculous. I don’t know how fast we can do it, but I know it will never be this long again.”
When the new season does arrive, it may well be in an unusual format, too. Back in May, Roiland revealed that he would be keen to release one episode of the show per month instead of the show’s usual series roll-out.
“I’ve been saying we should drop an episode each month, just make it a big event,” he told Slash Film. “I like the idea of thinking outside the box with how any show is delivered to the masses. “If you do one a month, the show is alive the whole year and you’re still buying us all the time we need to make them as good as they need to be. I’m not saying that’s ever gonna happen, but I have brought that up in the past.”
In terms of reading for the new series, star Spencer Grammer told NME in May that recording new episodes could feasibly work in lockdown.
“It works, it’s all totally fine, but it’s not as great,” Grammer began. “It’s sort of like doing a Zoom conference rather than doing an in-person interview. You’re different in person than when you’re remotely talking to somebody through a little computer box. We’ve recorded it that way but it’s just nice to see them.
“They sent me a microphone so I set it up in the closet in my father’s house in upstate New York, and some of the lines are in last week’s season premiere – we do record all the way up until it airs honestly!”
Is there a trailer for the new season yet?
Sort of! Ahead of the new season, Adult Swim have shared a new early draft of a scene from season five.
As work on the new season continues, the show’s producers shared a teaser for what’s to come during a recent Comic-Con@Home panel.
In the roughly drawn scene, Morty carries an injured Rick to their ship as they escape out of a portal. However, their ship is damaged and they are sent hurtling towards their deaths over Earth. Morty subsequently decides to ring crush Jessica to confess his feelings, though when she reciprocates he decides life is worth living and manages to save them by crashing into the sea.
However, the pair are then greeted by an Aquaman-type character called Mr Nimbus, who we learn is Rick’s nemesis.
See the new teaser below.
Who will be in the cast for the new series?
As far as we can tell, all core cast members are set to return for the latest instalment of the show. That’ll mean we see co-creator Justin Roiland playing both Rick and Morty, while Sarah Chalke will play Beth, Spencer Grammer will return as Summer, and Chris Parnell will once again be Jerry.
No hints at any new characters for season 5 have yet been revealed.
Rick and Morty season 5 plot: what will happen in the new season?
Not much has been given away with regards to what might unfold in the new season, but there were a few Easter eggs left behind at the end of season four
Back in May 2019, before season four even aired, Dan Harmon already showed that he was working on season five, sharing a photo of him in a writing room on Instagram.
“The amount of season five ideas Rob Schrab can come up with in a day is just awe-inspiring from a certain distance at which I should have stayed,” he wrote.
In the post, he shared tongue-in-cheek photos of Post-it notes with story ideas for the new season, including: “Jerry gets a pinecone in his butt”, “The People’s (Basketball) Court” and “Morty buys a boat”.
Across the coronavirus lockdown, two special anime episodes of Rick and Morty have aired, authorised by and attached to Adult Swim themselves. Back in March, Adult Swim shared a five-minute Rick and Morty short called Samurai & Shogun, created by Japanese studio Deen Digital, and it was followed up in August by another episode, this one called Rick and Morty vs. Genocider.
The first short from back in March took place in an alternate dimension, seeing samurai Rick fighting off a hoard of ninja Ricks. Rick WTM-72 confronts by the group as he tries to move Shogun Morty, slicing some of them to pieces before the rest manage to trap him in a hallucinogenic state.
The newer episode sees Rick being hunted by Evil Morty and a Citadel of Ricks, who are masquerading as a group called the Genociders.
Fans of the show are convinced that the episode confirms a prominent fan theory that Rick and Morty are in fact the same person. When Rick departs to fight the Genociders, he refers to Morty as “Rick Sanchez”, and as he’s saying his goodbyes, Rick’s reflection overlaps with Morty’s face.
Though the specials haven’t been created by Rick and Morty’s studio Adult Swim, the studio have promoted both episodes, meaning that storylines from the shows will impact the main show, and, as a result, season five of Rick and Morty could well expand on this theory, and – just maybe – put it to bed for good.