Dan Harmon has spent quarantine watching the internet recirculate old controversies and, somehow, keeping Rick and Morty‘s latest season on schedule during a world-altering pandemic that’s interrupted basically every industry out there.
There’s a lot more Rick and Morty on the way, but the wait time between seasons has become something of a running joke among the show’s rabid fans. Good storytelling, and the animation that brings it to life, takes time, and it all tends to pile up for Harmon and Co. But according to an interview at PaleyFest, Harmon says things are moving along well for the show’s fifth season.
As SyFy pointed out, Harmon said the coronavirus pandemic managed to keep the show “more on schedule” than ever before, mostly because there’s not much else to do these days.
“We’re more on schedule than we’ve ever been,” he said, admitting that the unprecedented digital workflow caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has actually been extremely beneficial to the show’s creation, while live-action projects have stopped and started. “It kind of makes you have to focus on the whole process when you don’t have this office environment anymore. Everyone has to run this bee colony remotely, so the honey just gets made more consistently. It’s working for us.”
Not having the ability to go to an office could spark chaos for other shows, but apparently, it’s the perfect way to remove distractions for the Rick and Morty crew. Another positive of all that waiting, it seems, is that the show’s writers have things generally fleshed out for all the seasons they haven’t gotten to, either. Though Harmon admitted that there isn’t a solid plan they necessarily have to stick to.
“We don’t map it out,” Harmon said. “If we simply just keep writing in real time as fast as we can write…by now, that puts us years ahead of the air date of the most recent episode. The last thing we’d want to do in an environment like that is have a plan. We are the plan because we are the future. We’re the guys who wrote the stuff that they’re now drawing, so we make a tremendous effort to stay in the moment and never box ourselves in.”
That’s certainly good news for fans who loved hearing 70 or so episodes were on the way when Adult Swim signed on before Season 4 was released. Though as we’ve learned from television and the world at large this year, everything can change and nothing is as certain as we’d like to believe.