The news came down today that Adult Swim and the team at Rick and Morty are cutting ties with series co-creator, Justin Roiland. Roiland's ongoing case for felony domestic violence was the cause of Rick and Morty cutting ties with Roiland – a case that only seems to be opening more and more ugly doors every day.
Whatever the legal outcome, it's clear that Justin Roiland's time with Rick and Morty is done, leaving the show with a massive hole to fill, creatively and logistically. Roiland of course provided the voices for the titular characters of Rick and Morty – voices that have obviously become iconic in their own right, and totally synonymous with the show.
That all said, despite some early fan reactions and skepticism, it is possible to continue Rick and Morty without Justin Roiland – and in fact, there are few shows better equipped to make such a massive change.
Why Rick and Morty Are Eat to Recast After Justin Roiland
There are several clear paths that Rick and Morty can take to recasting the voices of Rick and Morty, so let's break those down, one by one.
Imitate Roiland' s Rick and Morty Voices – Justin Roiland's voicework as both Rick and Morty has become so iconic and associated with the characters, that changing those voices may be too jarring for fans. At the same time, any longtime fan of animation is used to different voice actors taking on the same iconic characters; it's only long-running animated sitcoms like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park that have cemented the notion that animated characters should retain the same indelible vocies – and that losing an actor (for whatever reason) is akin to losing the character itself.
However, as some fans are already pointing out, the voices that Roiland created for Rick and Morty are not SO unique that they can't be imitated. There are countless videos of even amateur impressionists doing spot-on versions of Rick and/or Morty, so finding a professional (or two) who could nail down a seamless imitation of Roiland wouldn't be all that hard. And since fans know that animated characters can change voice actors, the transition would take after awhile, with the right actor(s) in place.
Give Rick and Morty New Voices – Rick and Morty has the distinct advantage of being a series that can easily explain why its main characters suddenly have new voices, and even make paydirt out of it.
As everyone knows, Rick and Morty was dipping into ideas of the multiverse, alternate realities, and alternate versions of ourselves, long before franchises like Marvel or even most prestigious awards were concerned with it (see: Everything Everywhere All at Once). With everything that Rick and Morty has done playing with meta narrative and its own canon (in universe and behind the scenes), it's not hard to see the makers of the show doing the same and taking on Roiland's exit directly.
Whether its some villain's scheme (Evil Morty, Rick Prime) or some meta plot device where the characters discover something insidious lurking in their voices, the episode could end with Rick and Morty getting an "upgrade," "reboot," or simply becoming alt-universe versions of themselves. Either way, the characters' new voice(s) could make a debut that leads us all to a path of laughing through this ugly, awkward, situation.
What do YOU think the best way to recast Rick and Morty? Or do you think the show should end with Roiland's exit? Let us know in the comments.
Past seasons of Rick and Morty are streaming on HBO Max.