‘Rick and Morty’ Season 4 In the Works, Writers and Creators Post Behind-The-Scenes Pictures

In May, Rick and Morty was renewed for 70 new episodes after protracted negotiations with Turner Broadcasting Systems. “70 more life threatening adventures Morty! Near death experiences Morty. Horrible things. Nightmares Morty! 70 More!” read co-creator Justin Roiland’s announcement.

Now Season 4 is underway. “We’re back in the writer’s room!” the Rick and Morty Facebook page announced last week. Along with the announcement was a video from the writer’s room, offering a look into the story process for Season 3 finale episode “The Rickchurian Mortydate,” which originally ended with Rick, Morty and the President of the United States fighting ISIS werewolves on the moon, the location of Newmerica. It’s a dramatic example of how much rewriting goes into an episode of Rick and Morty.

The video gives insight into the team dynamic of writing the show, but only subsequent social media posts from Rick and Morty writers and co-creator Dan Harmon offer a direct look into the first week of work on Season 4.

First up, from Roiland: no one seems to have cleaned the dry erase boards from writing Season 3 last year.

“This has been up for a long ass time,” Roiland posted. Just like with the ISIS werewolves, this blackboard is loaded with story bits and concepts that never made it into Season 3.

While Roiland picked over the detritus from last season, Harmon posted a picture that heralds the first step in creating Season 4: one of his signature “story circles.”

Harmon’s story circle is a simplified version of a common narrative framework known as the hero’s journey, which he’s divided into eight steps, as the hero leaves their familiar surroundings to pursue a need, achieve their goal and return, having changed (we’ve previously described a Harmon story circle in more detail). It’s a way to outline the narrative arc of a full episode.

Rick and Morty writer and producer Mike McMahan followed up with an example of a completed story circle, although it seems to be an inside joke involving Katherine Heigl’s 27 Dresses, rather than an early look at a Season 4 episode outline:

Harmon also posted two pictures of a plush Pickle Rick, who seems to be making his way around the Rick and Morty office, steered by persons or pickles unknown:

It may not be much, but it’s one of the few glimpses we’re likely to get into the Season 4 production process for a while, since the release date for new episodes of Rick and Morty is likely more than a year away.

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