Rick and Morty is about to sound a lot different. Adult Swim fired series co-creator Justin Roiland after news surfaced earlier this month that he is facing felony domestic violence charges. The network will recast the titular characters, who were both voiced by Roiland. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
"Adult Swim has ended its association with Justin Roiland," Adult Swim/Cartoon Network/Boomerang SVP communications Mairie Moore told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Tuesday. Rick and Morty will continue, with a new actor playing Roiland's roles. Dan Harmon will now be credited as the sole creator.
On Jan. 12, NBC News reported that Roiland was charged with felony domestic violence in Orange County, California in connection to a 2020 incident. He appeared in court that day for a pre-trial hearing. Roiland's attorney, T. Edward Welbourn, told NBC News his client is innocent and predicted the case will be dismissed. "We look forward to clearing Justin's name and helping him move forward as swiftly as possible," Welbourn said.
Roiland, 42, is facing one felon count of "domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud and/or deceit," according to the criminal complaint obtained by NBC News. The alleged incident happened on or about Jan. 19, 2020, and the alleged victim was an unnamed Jane Doe whom Roiland was dating. He pleaded not guilty to both charges in October 2020. There have been over a dozen hearings, but a trial date is not scheduled yet. Roiland was released on a $50,000 bond in August 2020. He was ordered to attend another hearing on April 27.
A protective order was filed against Roiland in October 2020. He was ordered not to harass, threaten, or surveil the person named in it. He cannot go within 100 feet of the person and he was ordered to turn in any firearms he may own. The order ends in October 2023 and it is unknown who requested the order. Most details of the case remain sealed from public view under a protective order. Roiland's arrest affidavit was also sealed.
Roiland and Harmon created Rick and Morty, which debuted in December 2013. The show has been a major success for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, and a sixth season began in September. A seventh season is now in development as part of a massive, 70-episode order Cartoon Network commissioned in 2018.
Outside of Rick and Morty, Roiland has an overall deal with Disney-owned 20th Television Animation. He co-created Hulu's Solar Opposites and voices a main character under the deal. Hulu and 20th Television animation have not commented on Roiland's charges. Roiland also founded the video game studio Squanch Games and the animation studio Justin Roiland's Solo Vanity Card Productions.