The wait for Rick and Morty Season 4 was an incredibly long one for fans of the beloved animated series. Season 3 ended on a very high note back in 2017, leaving fans waiting for the fourth installment for more than two years, a very long time for a single show's off-season. However, that wait was much shorter for those involved with the show than those who love watching it. Of course the cast returns to record new episodes long before audiences ever see them, but the actual time between recording Season 3 and Season 4 was shorter as well.
Rick and Morty star Spencer Grammer, who voices Summer, spoke with ComicBook.com about the new season of the series, and revealed that the cast was only off for about a year before they recorded Season 4. That recording took place one year before the new season arrived for fans earlier this month.
"It's probably like a year, honestly from when we weren't recording to when we were recording," Grammer tells us. "Our season opener, I recorded it over a year ago, and so I didn't remember what it was. I was like, Oh yeah, this episode. It was real funny. But the tag that we have with the bees, that was new. They just added that three or four weeks ago, with the wasp family, at the end of the episode.
"But it's not that long because I feel like I'm used to the schedule. I think I've said this before, because it's always been like this, every two years we're recording, and then it takes a year to animate. I started this show nine years ago, I think, actually, when I recorded the pilot. So we're just right on schedule in my world. But I think it's going to change now. I think we're going to be finishing episodes more quickly, and hopefully you get another five soon."
A lot of that change likely comes from the fact that Adult Swim went all in on Rick and Morty for the foreseeable future. The show was renewed for an additional 70 episodes ahead of Season 4, and the release strategy for future installments will probably follow the Season 4 model of splitting into halves and spreading things out. This keeps the creative and animation teams from having to cram too much into a short period of time while also giving fans a more consistent schedule.
"It's very exciting for [creators] Dan [Harmon] and Justin [Roiland] to know that they're going to be able to live in this world for such a long time," Grammer says of the renewal. "A lot of storylines that they would just throw away because they didn't know they'd have them, they've been able to find more use of things, kind of help the characters develop a little more slowly over time and also possibly have more standalone episodes as well. It's really exciting to get that many episodes ordered. It's fantastic. It makes it really fun to know that I'll be able to play this character for at least seven more years."
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New episodes of Rick and Morty air Sundays at 11:30 pm ET on Adult Swim.