Rick and Morty have faced everything from gods and dragons to sentient farts and evil doppelgangers, but all of that pales in comparison to what lies in store for the show itself.


Adult Swim has officially cut ties with the show’s co-creator Justin Roiland after he was charged with felony domestic abuse in connection with an incident from 2020. Roiland pleaded not guilty and was released on a $50,000 bond at the time. Since then, he has denied all charges ahead of his return to court for a hearing on 27th April this year.

Roiland’s legal representative T Edward Welbourn released a statement this month claiming that "not only is Justin innocent but we also have every expectation that this matter is on course to be dismissed once the district attorney’s office has completed its methodical review of the evidence".

"We look forward to clearing Justin's name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible," he added.

However, the show can’t just quickly come to an end, or fade away into irrelevancy. In 2018, it was renewed with a whopping 70-episode order, meaning that, one way or another, there will be four more seasons.

Even if that hadn't happened, Rick and Morty still remains Adult Swim's most popular show by a wide margin. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the latest season averaged 560,000 viewers upon airing, and subsequent gains were to be had via delayed viewing and streaming.

Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty Adult Swim

Additional spin-offs have recently been commissioned as well, including Vindicators 2 and Takashi Sano's anime series, which follow in the wake of numerous other shorts and even a popular comic book that ran from 2015 to 2020.

In short, Rick and Morty isn't going anywhere any time soon, so what will the show actually look like as it moves forward without Roiland?

Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon will now be the sole showrunner, with Roiland's voice roles set to be recast. That means both Rick and Morty might end up sounding very different very soon.

But how soon are we talking? Production began on season 7 in 2021, but it's unclear yet if Roiland and the rest of the voice cast had gotten around to recording their roles for the new episodes. Regardless, it seems safe to assume that any voice work Roiland might have done could now be scrapped.

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Justin Roiland
Justin Roiland Getty Images North America

There's been no news yet on how Adult Swim will recast Roiland. Existing cast members like Dan Harmon or Chris Parnell could take over, or perhaps entirely new actors will be hired to become Rick and Morty in his stead. What's also unclear is whether impersonators will be used to make the transition smoother, or whether the show will just outright acknowledge the duo's new voices.

Few shows could get away with that, but Rick and Morty is absolutely one of those rare series that could. Half the time, we don't even know if the characters we're following hail from the same dimension we started in, so there's a lot of scope to transform Rick and Morty in a way that allows for new voices – and perhaps even more changes beyond that, too.

Remember when Big Mouth recast Missy with Ayo Edebiri after Jenny Slate stepped down? The writers incorporated this change into the narrative directly, using it to signify Missy's growth and self-acceptance of her Blackness.

Rick, Summer, Morty, Jerry and Beth in Rick and Morty season 6
Rick, Summer, Morty, Jerry and Beth in Rick and Morty season 6 Adult Swim

With its sci-fi trappings, Rick and Morty could easily pull off something similar by drawing on new elements of the multiverse to change these characters forever. The only issue with that is the writing has already been completed for this upcoming season, and it's not so easy to rejig animation at the last minute.

Rick and Morty isn't the only show potentially impacted by the charges against Roiland either.

Over at Hulu, Roiland co-created Solar Opposites with Mike McMahan, and just like with Rick and Morty, he voices one of the main characters there, too. Again, the show has also been renewed quite far ahead, right up until season 5, which means Hulu will have to figure out how it wants to proceed for the next two seasons.

Ayo Edebiri as Missy and Thandiwe Newton as Mona in Big Mouth.
Ayo Edebiri as Missy and Thandiwe Newton as Mona in Big Mouth. Courtesy of Netflix

Given what's just happened with Adult Swim, it's possible Hulu will cut ties with Roiland in much the same way. This would also impact Koala Man, a new show that just premiered on the platform, although the impact may be less severe as Roiland is just an executive producer with only one minor voice role. For the most part, Koala Man is creator Michael Cusack's baby, so this show might crawl out relatively unscathed.

What's clear though is that Rick and Morty won't, not entirely. While it's commendable of Adult Swim to take action, we doubt that moves will be made to redub Roiland's voice work in the previous six seasons, which means that he may still gain royalties for that work.

As Rick and Morty's co-creator, royalties may also persist for Roiland moving forward too, depending on the details of his contract. If so, then he may still profit from future seasons, even if he's no longer involved directly. And if that's true, then it'll be up to the fans whether they wish to keep watching.

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