'Rick and Morty' Season 5 Is Surprisingly On-Track

While the wait may seem insurmountable, Rick and Morty Season 5 is actually right on track according to series co-creator Dan Harmon. Harmon has given several optimistic updates about the next season of his Adult Swim cartoon, all without revealing any concrete details like a release date. His latest check-in at the virtual PaleyFest was perhaps the most hopeful yet.

"We're more on schedule than we've ever been," Harmon told fans at the panel back in October. He suggested that working from home during the coronavirus pandemic might have actually helped his team move faster, since "It kind of makes you have to focus on the whole process when you don't have this office environment anymore. Everyone has to run this bee colony remotely, so the honey just gets made more consistently. It's working for us."

Harmon confirmed the news that the Rick and Morty writing staff is well ahead of Season 5, while the next season is being recorded and animated. He said that the show is unlikely to lean into the continuity-heavy plot lines that so many fan theorists are interested in because he does not like to work off of "a plan."

"If we simply just keep writing in real-time as fast as we can write... by now, that puts us years ahead of the air date of the most recent episode," he said. "The last thing we'd want to do in an environment like that is have a plan. We are the plan because we are the future."

Harmon addressed fans directly on Sunday night during a virtual reunion of his old podcast Harmontown. While he did not discuss Rick and Morty there, he did rail against continuity in TV shows in general, further indicating that his show will remain modular. Those hoping for another installment of the "Evil Morty" saga may find themselves disappointed.

While the status of the voice-over and animation process is hard to guess, we do know where the writing process stands. Last week, Rick and Morty writer Alex Rubens announced on Twitter that the staff is now working on Season 7.

This pace is possible thanks to a 70-episode order from Adult Swim. It freed the creative team to prolong their contracts and minimize the breaks between seasons so that they move right onto new episodes in this assembly-line fashion. Hopefully, fans will see the fruits of their labor soon.

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There is still no confirmed premiere date for Rick and Morty Season 5, but the first four seasons are streaming on both HBO Max and Hulu. They are also coming out in a new Blu-ray/DVD box set on March 2.