Dan Harmon Opens Up About the Show’s New Direction Without Justin Roiland


    • Justin Roiland’s departure from Rick and Morty has led to significant changes in the way Season 7 is being scripted, marking a new era for the show.
    • The infusion of new writers has brought a fresh perspective that has reinvigorated Dan Harmon’s approach to storytelling during challenging times.
    • Despite the changes, Rick’s character development and narrative arc are far from over, as he continues to face existential crises and navigate his place in the universe.

    In light of Justin Roiland’s departure, Dan Harmon, Rick and Morty‘s co-creator, has revealed considerable alterations in the methodology of scripting Season 7. A significant chapter in the show’s history unfolds with this change, shedding light on the ever-changing nature of its creative methodology.

    Rick and Morty, known for its bold narrative arcs and complex characters, faced a turning point when Adult Swim parted ways with Roiland, the voice behind the show’s main characters. The departure signified more than a casting change; it prompted a shift in the series’ creative direction. In a conversation with Variety, Harmon characterized this transition as the dawn of a fresh era for the series. He shared how the infusion of new writers brought a refreshing perspective that helped reinvigorate his approach during some challenging times. Harmon revealed:

    “I think now it can be said that there’s been so much turbulence going on behind the scenes that Season 6 kind of represented me [unplugging] those wires from my heart and my obsessive brain. I had to look at the show as a job.”

    The first seasons of Rick and Morty were marked by prolonged production periods and internal disagreements between Harmon and Roiland over the show’s direction. This turbulence, as Harmon puts it, often led to delays and uncertainties regarding the show’s future. However, with Roiland’s exit, there seems to be a newfound clarity and purpose in the writing room.

    Harmon detailed the transformative impact of new talent, such as Albro Lundy and James Siciliano, on the show’s narrative. Their fresh viewpoints and continued fandom of the series provided a much-needed boost to Harmon, especially during his “darkest hours.” This collaborative effort has led to a re-energized approach to storytelling, evident in the episodes of Season 7.

    “It was fantastic. That invigorating energy that they bring to the table as people that are able to remain fans of the thing that we’re working on — I really needed that in my darkest hours.

    I think there’s still a conclusion to a story here, because the narcissist will tell you that destroying yourself, it doesn’t solve a problem.

    This is how far we’ve come with Rick’s journey…He is now the one who is existentially isolated. He is the one that doesn’t feel like he fits in the universe around him. Which puts him on the same level as a 14-year-old boy learning there’s multiple universes 10 show-years earlier.”

    RELATED: Rick and Morty Is Fine Without Justin Roiland

    The Unending Saga of Rick: Continuity and Change in the Post-Roiland Era of Rick and Morty

    Rick and Morty

    Release Date
    December 2, 2013

    Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, Sarah Chalke

    Animation, Comedy


    Season 6 of Rick and Morty represented a turning point for Harmon personally. He described it as the process of disconnecting his deeply ingrained emotional and intellectual ties to the show and starting to view it more as a professional endeavor. This detachment allowed him to embrace new ideas and perspectives, culminating in a revitalized creative energy.

    Despite these changes, Harmon asserts that the essence of Rick’s story is far from over. He sees the current narrative arc as a continuation, rather than a conclusion, of Rick’s character development. Harmon poignantly notes that self-destruction is not a solution to existential crises, highlighting the ongoing complexity of Rick’s journey. As the character evolves, he finds himself in a place of existential isolation, mirroring the confusion and wonder of a teenager discovering the vastness of the multiverse. This parallel draws a full circle back to the show’s roots, yet with a deeper, more introspective character study.

    Justin Roiland’s exit from Rick and Morty has triggered major transformations in the series’ writing and creative methodology. Dan Harmon, facing the challenge of steering the ship alone, has embraced the new energy brought in by fresh writers. Their perspectives have not only rejuvenated Harmon but have also set the stage for a new chapter in the show’s narrative journey. As the seventh season progresses, a mix of new and familiar elements will emerge, showcasing the show’s consistent charm and its capacity for adaptation and evolution in the dynamic world of television.

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