'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Release Date Update: Animation Team Back at Work, They're Drawing It

Throughout the long wait for the premiere of Rick and Morty Season 3, co-creator Dan Harmon used a single phrase to rebuff all questions, complaints and proddings with a simple phrase: "they're drawing it!" In other words, we've done the writing, we've done the storyboards, now there's nothing more to do but wait for the animation team in Canada to finish its work.

Rick and Morty Season 4 has now reached that "they're drawing it!" stage. On Friday, an animation supervisor on Rick and Morty posted a photo from inside the Bardel Entertainment offices in Vancouver. Included in the photo is lead animator Etienne Aubry and senior production coordinator Mark Van Ee (it's possible their titles have changed since Season 3).

"Casual meeting. First week back! Feels great #RaM4," the supervisor, likely Eric Bofa Nfon (screen name Eric B.), tweeted.

Casual meeting. First week back! Feels great #RaM4 pic.twitter.com/C5gf68hQn5

— Eric B. (@eric_andfun) January 12, 2019

While the animation team is back at work on Rick and Morty Season 4, its premiere date is anything but imminent, since animation can take months. So this timing might just tee us up for a late summer, early autumn release date.

Just don't expect another surprise premiere like the April Fools' Day release of the first episode of Rick and Morty Season 3. The end of 2018 already came and went without the surprise Christmas episode several outlets had predicted. As co-creator Justin Roiland said on a Rick and Morty Season 3 commentary track, "That April Fools' stunt really set a strange precedent for disappointing people in the future."

While Rick and Morty is now in the hands of the animators, the past few months have provided numerous hints about what's in store from the show's writers and producers. We've seen glimpses from inside the writers room, including a peculiar fixation on the movie 27 Dresses and pictures of new episode scripts. We know Season 4 will have a guest appearance from actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Possession) and may feature Susan Sarandon's Dr. Wong again. There's even been some indication that Evil Morty will return in an upcoming episode.

Rick and Morty Season 4 may premiere with more episodes than ever—Harmon told Entertainment Weekly about tentative plans to produce 14 episodes, rather than the standard 10-installment season. But whether or not Season 4 is extra-long, it's just the beginning, since Rick and Morty wasn't only renewed for Season 4, but for 70 new episodes.

While Rick and Morty animators have returned to work on Season 4, we still can't know for sure when it will premiere. But, it's good to know that, as Harmon would say, "They're drawing it!"