'Rick and Morty' Season 4 Renewal Approaches 'Return Threshold' Says Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon, co-creator of Rick and Morty with Justin Roiland, once again confirmed that Rick and Morty has yet to be renewed for a Season 4 by Turner Broadcasting on Tuesday. However, he followed up with a comment suggesting a renewal might be imminent, at least if we're going by The Hero's Journey.

Responding, yet again, to fans pestering him on Twitter about Rick and Morty Season 4, Harmon tweeted, "the season has not been ordered," confirming the negotiation standoff revealed in March continues.

However, in a follow up tweet, Harmon commented on the possibility of another network or streaming service releasing Rick and Morty Season 4 instead of Adult Swim.

More interesting than the possibility of a Amazon, Hulu or Netflix renewing Rick and Morty for a fourth season—a possibility Harmon doesn't discount, but claims to have no insight into—is Harmon's belief that a Season 4 renewal with Turner Broadcast and Adult Swim might be imminent, not because of anything specific data point, but because of the narrative arc of this renewal saga.

"My instincts tell me we're due for a 'return threshold,'" Harmon said, referencing a narrative stage in the hero's journey, or monomyth, template popularized by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

The hero's journey is a common story form observed and dissected by mythologists, since adopted by screenwriters, novelists and other modern storytellers. At its most basic, the hero's journey involves a hero who goes on an adventure, overcomes a crisis and then returns home, having changed. Campbell originally described a more complicated version with 17 steps, including elements that have become screenwriting shorthand, like "the call to adventure," "refusal of the call," "crossing the threshold" and "the meeting with the goddess."

Harmon uses a simplified version of the hero's journey, with eight steps, in his own writing, including on Rick and Morty. Harmon describes his "story circle" as following a natural pattern of human storytelling. "In a vacuum, raised by wolves, your stories would follow this pattern," he writes.

Story Circle @danharmon pic.twitter.com/OdyeQBtPFP

— Sandwarbler (@sandwarbler) January 9, 2018

The return threshold comes after the hero has overcome the story's main challenge, got everything they wanted, but paid a heavy price for it. The threshold is the last narrative barrier to the character returning home with their newfound wisdom.

But how does this relate to a Rick and Morty Season 4 renewal? Is the hero of the journey the network, Dan Harmon, the fans or Rick and Morty itself? However we diagram it, the basic premise of Harmon's tweet is that the moment for Turner to return, having changed, has arrived. Either Rick and Morty Season 4 is to be renewed, or it is to be cancelled; sold off to another channel, or return to Adult Swim. The "return threshold"—a moment of clarity—approaches.

As far as Rick and Morty Season 4 release date updates go this is a fairly cryptic one, but does suggest Harmon believes we'll know the fate of Rick and Morty very soon. Whether this is due to his insider knowledge of the ongoing contract negotiations, or just a vague feeling, is unclear.