Rick and Morty’s Dan Harmon on New Voices, Roiland’s Departure

The much-anticipated seventh season of Rick and Morty arrives in just a few weeks; a few days ago, we got a trailer revealing the show’s new “soundalike” voices for its lead characters after Justin Roiland’s departure. It’s been a weird ride for Rick and Morty fans—and now, in a new interview, Roiland’s co-creator Dan Harmon has shared his take on the situation.

In an extensive profile by the Hollywood Reporter, we finally get a good explanation as to why we don’t yet know the names behind the voices replacing Roiland: they are “two young, unknown voice actors,” according to the trade, and Harmon wasn’t much involved in the casting, by his choice. “It’s all just sad because the goal is for it to be indistinguishable,” he told THR. “At the same time, it would be absurd to suddenly decide that the entire foundation of your creative project was, oh, coincidentally, unimportant.”

The story digs deep into Harmon’s perspective on the evolving relationship between Roiland and Harmon—how they began working together on Rick and Morty, which premiered a decade ago, and how the collaborative balance between them began to shift as early as the show’s second season, when Harmon brought “Harvard-educated Community writers” aboard the Adult Swim series. That rift continued to grow even as the show’s popularity increased, though there was a brief reconciliation in 2018, when Rick and Morty announced 70 more episodes were on the way.

“It was like Justin and I were in love again,” Harmon recalled, but then told the trade he hasn’t spoken to Roiland since an emotional text exchange in 2019. “He said things that he’d never said before about being unhappy, and I remember saying to him the last time we spoke in person, like, ‘I am worried about you, and I don’t know what to do about that except to give you all the string and also just say I’m scared that you’re not going to come back.’ But then this conversation became unprecedentedly confrontational … I think that’s as far as I get to take the story. At that point, we’re no longer both there for it, and it starts to become not only unfair for me to continue but totally uncomfortable because, from there, a friendship goes away, and I still don’t fully understand why.”

Head to the Hollywood Reporter to read the whole interview, which includes the brief snippet that “pre-strike, Harmon even had a serious conversation with executives at Warner Bros. about a Rick and Morty feature” styled as “super episode” of sorts, like the South Park movie was.

Rick and Morty returns to Adult Swim October 15.

Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

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