Fans of Rick and Morty, the popular Adult Swim sci-fi/comedy TV series, will be happy to know that the creative team behind the show is pushing hard to get Season 3 finished. That’s the word from their latest panel at San Diego Comic Con, earlier this month, as reported by CinemaBlend. Video of the panel was recently posted online.
Both co-creators were present: Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon (pictured above at a 2013 press conference). Also on the panel were writer/producer Ryan Ridley, the voice cast of the show (Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke, Chris Parnell), and moderator Brian Quinn.
Rick and Morty Season 2 ended in October of 2015. Dan Harmon joked about the reason it was taking so long to get the new season ready.
“The season’s on a little bit of a delay because we made this really high-risk, high-yield bet. We were certain that Marco Rubio was gonna be President. We just have all these Rubio jokes and we know that they’re not gonna land now.”
“Whole [story] arcs,” chimed in Roiland. “So we’re back to the drawing board.”
The reality is they want to ensure the new season of Rick and Morty looks the best it possibly can. Harmon was quoted in CinemaBlend.
“It’s been harder this season… I watched the thumbnail animatic of Episode 304 and I was ready to move forward with it and Ryan [Ridley] said ‘we’re not satisfied with it’ and we were already behind schedule. They have to bear the brunt of the schedule, they have to work weekends. They are the ones that wanted to do it. There’s a weird higher calling there and it’s not an endless perfectionism because you know when something finally clicks and you go ‘this is a good episode of TV.’ But it’s not just me and I was very happy to find that out.”
Rick and Morty Season 2 ended on a dramatic note when Rick sacrificed his freedom to save his family. Hunted down by the galactic Federation for a history of rebellion, Rick decides on turning himself in so his family would no longer have to live like fugitives. It was a surprise ending for the often glib tone of the show, and left the storyline unresolved at the end of the episode.
Zach Handlen of The A.V. Club wrote about the “gut punch” of the Season 2 finale.
“…a cliffhanger so strong that I’m actually a little angry at the people involved for forcing us to wait another year … the purest, most noble act we’ve ever seen [Rick] take will break the hearts of the people he’s making it for. It’s a brilliant conclusion—one that both presents plenty of story possibilities for the season(s?) ahead, while still serving as a fitting conclusion to the show’s excellent sophomore year.”
Moderator Brian Quinn asked the panel what changes came about between the initial conception of the characters at the very start of Rick and Morty and where they are now. Dan Harmon responded in typically heady fashion.
“We thought when we were doing Season 1, that we would always do this show where there was this Wonka scientist and this little kid going on sci-fi adventures, and then we would keep cutting between that and this middle-aged couple that were trying to keep their marriage together. Even by the end of Season 1 that just turned into its own property; it’s all mixed together. It’s a family that lives in a darker reality than we all see on TV because it’s the one we all live in — which is the one where you know that life is meaningless — so how do you deal with that as a family, as an individual?”
Justin Roiland responded by talking about the contributions of the voice cast to the development of the show. “Going through Season 1, they sort of grew as characters as we were going to [recording sessions] and hearing them act.”
Rick and Morty writer Ryan Ridley also took the opportunity at the panel to defend the Season 2 cliffhanger ending.
“I think that in Season 2, it became clear that Rick needed to suffer some consequences for his actions and behavior. I remember thinking, ‘It would be cool to see it.’ We’ve teased this idea of this [galactic] Federation, and we’ve known Rick has hated the government since Season 1. What would it be like, if he actually had to pay the price for all his ‘hatred of the government’? It was kinda nice to see this character who has had all the power in the multiverse — sitting in this prison cell… It’s a good way to end a season after all that.”
Few specifics were given, but Dan Harmon mentioned upcoming episodes in Season 3 will deal with Rick’s drinking problem and the continuing trials of Beth and Jerry’s marriage.
Co-creator Justin Roiland was also excited about the upcoming Rick and Morty virtual reality game on the HTC Vive platform from Alchemy Labs: “It’s really cool — I swear to God it’s amazing… seriously mind-blowing… if you haven’t tired VR or if you’ve just tried mobile VR like Samsung Gear, this will blow your mind for sure.”
Here is a fan-captured video of the convention panel:
The official video is available on the Adult Swim website. You can watch it here.
Rick and Morty appears to still be on schedule to be released by the end of this year.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]