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Rick and Morty season 5: release date, cast, theories, and first footage

Rick and Morty season 5
(Image credit: Adult Swim)

Rick and Morty season 5 is on the way, and the future of the Adult Swim series is looking even brighter than we could have possibly imagined. One writer on the show has revealed they're already starting to work on season seven, which hopefully means a release date announcement for season 5 is imminent.

After all, there's plenty already out there to suggest the wait for Rick and Morty season 5 will be slightly less torturous than then gap between the two halves of last season. There's even the first (unfinished) footage from the upcoming season, while we have everything from exclusive quotes to fan theories to tide you over before Rick and Morty shows us what it's got for the fifth time.

Rick and Morty season 5 release date: all signs point to a much shorter wait

Rick and Morty season 5 release date

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

There's no Rick and Morty season 5 release date yet – but expect the series to arrive far, far sooner than the two-year-plus gap between the end of season 3 (October 2017) and the start of season 4 in November 2019.

That’s mostly thanks to Adult Swim ordering 70 episodes of Rick and Morty back in 2018. Season 4 made up 10 of that batch, meaning 60 more episodes (likely six more seasons) are in the pipeline.

Importantly, that means there’s less of a wait in-between new seasons. Where Roiland and Harmon were once twiddling their thumbs waiting for the show to be picked up again, work is well under way on a fifth season.

Roiland confirmed in an interview with Slash Film that season 5 is “mostly in the can” though “[the animation team] are still gonna be reworking when the animatics come back, so that can extend the process.”

In a promising update, Dan Harmon said (via SyFy Wire). “We’re more on schedule than we’ve ever been. It kind of makes you have to focus on the whole process when you don't have this office environment anymore."

Bizarrely, Harmon has even confirmed that work has begun on season seven of all things, indicating that things are all smooth sailing from hereon out.

Spencer Grammer (Summer) even told the Talking Simpsons podcast that working-from-home is always an option for the show.

“We’ll continue to have pickups, we always do that for the show… I have a great closet, fully ready for an impromptu recording,” Grammer said.

Chris Parnell (Jerry) even mentioned to us that he thinks there’s “going to be less of a wait” for season 5 and beyond. Parnell added: “One lucky thing is our show is animated in Canada, primarily, so they don’t have some of the same restrictions we might if our show was animated in the Asian countries where things have been a little more locked down.”

The throughline for all of these quotes from the cast and creative team is Rick and Morty season 5 is almost certainly going to coming quicker than anticipated. Whether early-to-mid 2021 or perhaps later remains to be seen, but we’ll update you as soon as we hear more. 

Watch the first scene from Rick and Morty season 5 now

As early first looks go, they don't get much better than this. Footage from Rick and Morty season 5 has emerged, featuring shots at Marvel, DC, and even the introduction of Rick's new nemesis.

The Rick and Morty season 5 “First Look” begins with Morty carrying a badly wounded Rick to safety on his ship – but not before the mad scientist catches a glimpse of a parallel universe where he and his grandson are Blade-style vampire hunters. Later, Morty discovers that Jessica does, in fact, like him and invites him round for a date. One small problem: he’s hurtling towards the Earth and is mid-crash landing when Jessica calls.

While the pair survive the crash, it’s simply a case of going out of the frying pan or into the fire – or should that be ocean? That’s because Rick is confronted by his supposed nemesis, the Aquaman rip-off, Mr. Nimbus.

While it's as-yet-unfinished, it's clear that the trademark pop-culture riffing and irreverent humour still remains for season 5.

Rick and Morty season 5 cast: the same as it ever was

Rick and Morty season 5

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

As far as we know, the Rick and Morty season 5 cast will remain exactly the same as those that have come before it – at least in terms of the main players.

Justin Roiland is (obviously) back as both Rick and Morty. Sarah Chalke will continue voicing Beth and Clone Beth while, similarly, Chris Parnell (Jerry) and Spencer Grammer (Summer) are also returning for a fifth season.

Expect to see some famous faces crop up, too. Season 4 saw the likes of Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi and Jurassic World: Dominion returnee Sam Neill drop on by for bit-part roles. No guest stars have been confirmed for season 5 as of writing though.

Rick and Morty season 5 plot: new episode script and the cast reveal what they want to happen next

Rick and Morty season 5

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

Rick and Morty season 4 ended with the reveal that Beth may not be who she thought she was. We think? It's confusing, but Rick and Morty's clone saga will definitely continue on in season 5 as confirmed by Harmon. He said "We're having fun looking at more options with space Beth." 

Alongside that, it's likely the commotion surrounding the return of Birdperson, now renamed Phoenixperson and lying dormant in Rick's garage, will also persist.

The first glimpse of anything to do with upcoming Rick and Morty season 5 episodes arrived in the form of a few obscured pictures on Twitter.

Posted by show writer Jeff Loveness (who’s now working on Ant-Man 3), the series of scripts showed that Loveness will be working on "501," potentially the season 5 premiere. Good luck trying to decipher the redacted portion, though. At least that's something to do in the meantime.

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Beyond that, there’s nothing official out there when it comes to the plot of the new season. The show’s meta-commentary on not wanting to return to old favourites, such as "Interdimensional Cable", could hint that we’re in for something entirely new, however.

Spencer Grammer, who plays Summer on the show, revealed to us in an interview she’s been pitching the creative team some ideas for future episodes: “When we had our season premiere party for the first cycle of season 4 I’m like ‘Can we have a Summer episode where she runs a cult? What about a Summer episode where she becomes Rick?’”

On what they want to see from their characters in future, Grammer and Parnell shared their hopes for Summer and Jerry respectively.

Grammer said, “I do always want to see Summer become more evil and sociopathic and more narcissistic for sure. I think that makes her really, really interesting. I also really like for Rick to give her more responsibility in the context of him being able to pull things over in the family.”

Parnell, meanwhile, wants Jerry to be, well, less Jerry: “There’s a lot of room to explore Jerry’s competence, because we haven’t seen a lot of that. So, I think it’d be fun to see Jerry really excelling and succeeding and doing well, even if it’s a particular dimension that’s obviously an abnormality compared to the one we live in. That’d be fun.”

Rick and Morty season 5 theories: will Evil Morty return?

Rick and Morty season 5 theories

(Image credit: Adult Swim)

While Rick and Morty has mostly rejected a serialised format in favour of one-off episodes, one of our favourite Rick and Morty theories could have ramifications for season 5.

One Redditor posits an idea that could certainly rear its ugly, eyepatched head in future. Namely, the "Vat of Acid" episode isn’t our Morty from the C-137 dimension. No – the Morty that Rick taught a valuable lesson (resulting in the deaths of not only thousands of parallel universe Mortys but also his soulmate) might actually become the Evil Morty we love to hate. It’d certainly make for a compelling origin story, if nothing else, and would only add to the high-concept drama and obsession with sci-fi tropes such as the multiverse that the show loves to spoof.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).