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Adam Holmes

Rick And Morty Producer And Cartoon Network Boss Shade Justin Roiland In Sharing Update On Show's Future

Rick and Morty walking through portal

It’s been close to a year since Rick & Morty Season 6 premiered on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block, and while we still don’t know when Season 7 will arrive, it’s been common knowledge for a while now that it won’t sound quite the same. In late January, co-creator Justin Roiland was fired from Rick & Morty, thus necessitating that a new actor be selected to voice the title protagonists, among many other characters. However, one of the Rick & Morty producers, as well as the network’s boss, feel this won’t impact the show heavily, as evidenced by the shade they directed at Roiland while talking about its future.

Producer Steve Levy and Cartoon Network president Michael Ouweleen appeared at Annecy International Festival, and they confirmed that the recasting process is still unfolding. Justin Roiland’s vocals “will be replaced” during Season 7’s post-production, but Levy thinks that that having someone else voicing Rick, Morty and the actor’s characters won’t lead to a diminished experience for the show’s viewers. As he put it (via Toonado):

The writing quality has never been better, and all the screenwriters have stayed. I don't think anyone will bat an eyelid hearing the new voices.

Roiland was fired from Rick & Morty shortly after he made headlines for being hit with felony domestic violence charges, stemming from an incident in early 2020 involving an unidentified woman he was dating at the time. By March 2023, the court case against Roiland was dismissed, and he said in a public statement that he was “determined to move forward” and focus on both his “creative projects” and restoring his “good name.” However, there were numerous other allegations of abuse, misconduct and problematic behavior directed at him, which is likely why he wasn’t rehired onto Rick & Morty.

While no timetable has been set for when Rick & Morty’s new lead actor will be announced, Michael Ouweleen said he believes “it is possible” that viewers won’t notice Roiland’s absence when Season 7 premieres, whether it’s an established impersonator like Sean Kelly or someone who hasn’t been publicly brought up as a candidate. Ouweleen also pointed to a popular cartoon character from the Warner Bros. library as an example of someone who’s been voiced by multiple actors, but audiences have no issue recognizing who it is each time:

It's looking good. It's a rather unique situation. I'll take an example: there have been several great Bugs Bunny voice actors, and I love what Jeff Bennett has done with them. But it's not Mel Blanc! And yet we recognize the character.

Although Justin Roiland created Rick & Morty with Dan Harmon, a THR story from February claimed that the two hadn’t been “on speaking terms for multiple seasons,” and that the former stopped showing up to the writers room in Season 3. While those who’ve worked with Roiland have largely been silent on what’s been going on with him, writer Heather Anne Campbell shared that she can’t tweet about him “for now,” perhaps indicating there will come a day when they are allowed to share their thoughts with the public. It’s also important to mention that Roiland was also fired from Solar Opposites and Koala Man, and there’s been no announcement of who will replace him on those Hulu shows.

Rest assured, once Rick & Morty Season 7’s premiere date is announced, you’ll find it in our 2023 TV schedule, assuming it’s not being saved for 2024. Until then, you can stream the show’s previous six seasons with either a Max subscription or Hulu subscription.

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