Rick and Morty fans are currently biting their nails in anxious anticipation, waiting to hear news of when Adult Swim will decide to release a fourth season of the show. Last week, co-creator Dan Harmon (Community) offered an update on the status of Season 4 on Twitter, writing that the network (owned by Time Warner) has yet to order another round of sci-fi hijinks from Rick Sanchez and his nebbishy grandson Morty Smith, both of whom are voiced by the show's other creator, Justin Roiland.
While appearing on an episode of SModcast, Harmon clarified his tweet by revealing that the entire thing boils down to a simple matter of (are you ready for it?) contract negotiations. “The reason we’re not working on Rick and Morty right now ain’t because I figured out that I don’t need to impress you,” he said. “It’s because of a little something called contract negotiations, and it’s gotten complicated this time around.”
"Complicated" is the key word here, and it's not hard to infer why. The show has achieved an insane amount of success and popularity since its first season dropped in 2013. Nonsense words like "Plumbus," "Squanch," and "Shrimply Pibbles" have become regular parts of our pop culture lexicon. Then there's the fact that McDonald's brought back a little-known condiment from the 1990s meant to promote a Disney movie just because Rick mentions it in the first episode of Season 3.
That's actually insane when you think about it and a true testament to just how popular the series is with fans and the power it holds over them. With that said, Harmon and Roiland probably (and understandably) want a bit more money for their work on the show, now that it's an iconic staple of modern television. The network might be reluctant to relent, but there's no way the would close such a gold mine that's in the prime of its life. More importantly, there's no way they can get rid of Harmon and Roiland, as the duo are the lifeblood of the show, especially Roiland, who voices its two key characters. So hopefully everyone comes away happy from these ongoing negotiations.
Roiland echoed Harmon's sentiments by tweeting that he's just as eager to see a new season as everybody else, but its fate is in the hands of his network overlords.
Until everyone settles on contracts they're happy with, we'll just have to enjoy the Run the Jewels music video featuring Rick and Morty on a mission to recover a mysterious alien briefcase, à la Pulp Fiction.