The length of time between seasons of Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty” has been something of a running joke among fans. It was, for example, nearly two and a half years between Season 3 and Season 4, which finished its run in May this year. As we wait for a whole lot more to come from Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, whose beloved series has many episodes remaining as part of a package deal with Cartoon Network, they’re also here to reassure fans that it’s coming soon.
As reported by Syfy Wire out of a PaleyFest virtual conversation, Harmon said that despite COVID’s impact on the industry and digital workflow Season 5 is fully on schedule and has actually benefited from production setbacks.
“We’re more on schedule than we’ve ever been,” he said, adding that it’s easier to get the animated “Rick and Morty” off the ground than something like a live-action production, many of which have shut down this year. “It kind of makes you have to focus on the whole process when you don’t have this office environment anymore. Everyone has to run this bee colony remotely, so the honey just gets made more consistently. It’s working for us.”
Back in 2018, Cartoon Network ordered 70 more episodes of the show, but that doesn’t mean that Harmon and his collaborators have the story all mapped out. “If we simply just keep writing in real time as fast as we can write…by now, that puts us years ahead of the air date of the most recent episode,” he said. “The last thing we’d want to do in an environment like that is have a plan. We are the plan because we are the future. We’re the guys who wrote the stuff that they’re now drawing, so we make a tremendous effort to stay in the moment and never box ourselves in.”
While he didn’t offer any first premiere date (or even a hint) for Season 5, Harmon did add, “There’s an episode in Season 5 where Morty has a relationship with another female character that’s not Jessica. It’s just a great little story and my very, very longtime friend and collaborator Rob Schrab wrote it…He’s also a very tender writer; a juvenile, John Hughes, he really feels heartache on a level a man his age shouldn’t. There’s an episode coming up in Season 5, my Emmy is going to that one.”