Rick and Morty season 4: all you need to know

David Opie, Ian Sandwell
Photo credit: Warner Bros. Television / [adult swim]

From Digital Spy

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After making the fans wait and wait (and wait), Adult Swim officially renewed cult adult animation Rick and Morty on May 10, 2018.

And we didn't just get a season four renewal of around 10 or so episodes, but a whopping 70-episode renewal that will see the show pass the 100-episode mark. It's obviously exciting news for fans, but we do have some reservations, which we've already outlined.

So while we wait for the episodes to drop, here's everything we know so far about season four of Rick and Morty... and potentially beyond.

Rick and Morty season 4 teaser: Any new footage yet?

Early footage from a season four episode hit San Diego Comic-Con 2019, and for a while, that's all we had, but the first full length trailer has now landed, revealing a bunch of fan favourites are set to return.

Check out the clip in full to see Rick and Morty crash and burn through the multiverse with a bunch of old friends by their side, including Mr Poopybutthole, Mr Meeseeks and more.

Before that promo dropped, the creators took pity on us mere mortals and shared two images that provided us with our first official glimpse of season four.

In the first image, Rick looks pretty pleased with himself, walking casually through an alien world, but the second one spells trouble thanks to the appearance of Crocubot, a cyborg who is part-crocodile and part-robot.

In the meantime, fans have also been treated to a number of mini-episodes since season three ended, starting with the show's take on Up's opening montage with Mr Poopybutthole.

There's also been an Australian re-imagining of the show from YouTube series Darren and Damo's creator Michael Cusack which sees Rick force Morty into joining him on an eight-hour road trip to Bendigo to get a "green cube".

Oh, and they also seemed to pop up in My Little Pony of all places.

It briefly looked as though it might be impossible for Rick and Morty newbies in the UK to catch up ahead of season four, with Netflix removing the first three seasons – but the streaming service later put the older episodes back up.

Rick and Morty season 4 release date: When will it arrive?

We have a release date! Adult Swim in the US has confirmed that the new series will be launching on November 10 at 11:30 p.m. EST on Adult Swim.

We had previously been warned since the post-credits scene on the season three finale – by Mr Poopybutthole himself – not to expect season four for "a really long time".

Before the renewal, writer and producer Ryan Ridley outlined that we shouldn't expect new episodes anytime in 2018. "I know how long this show takes to write, let alone animate. I'd be surprised if there was a fourth season on the air anytime sooner than 2019... late 2019," he revealed — and he was right!

A two-year wait is nothing new for Rick and Morty fans given the gaps between the previous seasons, so 2019 was always the earliest we could expect season four.

Writing on new episodes got underway as of June 2018, with Roiland promising no more long gaps, or "chasms in between seasons" anymore.

Rick and Morty season 4 episodes: How many can we expect?

Unfortunately, it looks like season four of Rick and Morty might be a lot shorter than usual. The first full-length trailer for season four revealed that only five episodes will air in November.

What remains unclear is if the fourth season will be released in two separate instalments — like Disenchantment on Netflix — or whether five episodes is all we'll have before season five drops at some point in the future.

Photo credit: Adult Swim

As you might expect, the season-four tagline has a lot of fun playing around with these expectations: "Half the Season you deserve, all the season we can handle."

However, there's still some hope out there for the squanchiest of Rick and Morty fans.

While the first season had 11 episodes, season two and three had 10 episodes each, so it's entirely possible the new season will follow suit — especially as co-creator Dan Harmon has spoken about wanting to do longer seasons before.

"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 EW.

Photo credit: Adult Swim

"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."

There's no such worries now about having to prove themselves for extra episodes, so the question remains that with 70 episodes to play with, will Harmon and co-creator Justin Roiland stick to traditional seasons or decide that the 70 episodes can constitute a fourth season across several years?

However this pans it, it's vital that fans watch each episode in order to stay on top of any potential developments. Roiland elaborated on this further in an interview with E4:

"Without giving anything away, we have serialised stuff we check in on now and then that’s sprinkled over the top of strong episodic episodes. To fans of the show, they’re going to want to watch them in order."

Rick and Morty season 4 cast: Who's coming back?

We can't imagine it'll be anyone else than Roiland voicing Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith, Chris Parnell as Morty's father Jerry, Spencer Grammer as Morty's sister Summer and Sarah Chalke as Rick's daughter Beth in the new episodes, as they've been doing it since the start.

It remains to be seen if the new episodes will require Roiland to get drunk for real to record an episode.

Outside of the core cast, expect season four to continue with the show's use of guest stars for other characters. Season three saw the likes of Nathan Fillion, Susan Sarandon, Christian Slater, Lance Reddick and Tony Hale pop up in various roles.

Speaking to E4, Roiland confirmed that new guest stars will include Paul Giamatti, Kathleen Turner, Sam Neill and Taika Waititi. The latter two were called in to play two members of the same species who both have a distinct "Kiwi flavour".

Fan favourite character Mr Meeseeks and presumably his many many doubles are confirmed to return too, as seen in the trailer. Voiced by Roiland, the happy blue critters first popped up in the fifth episode of season one, "Meeseeks and Destroy". It's been a while since they've appeared in the show, so let's just hope that Jerry's had more time to improve his golf game before they return.

One particularly interesting character set to come back is Evil Morty, who fans suspect could become the show's major Big Bad later down the line.

We first learned of his ominous return via the official Rick and Morty Twitter account, which shared a picture of multiple Morty's, including one with those distinctive wires coming out of his eye.

The caption below basically confirmed that this is Evil Morty with the line "Black and white and dread all over," which suggests he will indeed get schwifty with our 'heroes' at some point in season four.

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