Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland has revealed a number of celebrity guest stars to appear in the upcoming season 4. Specific details about the ten-episode season have been somewhat elusive so far, but with the long-awaited new episodes set to air in November, information is beginning to trickle out.
The new season of the continuing misadventures of a sociopathic, alcoholic mad scientist and his neurotic, long-suffering grandson has been a long time coming, with the final episode of season 3 airing in October 2017. That season was itself delayed due to other co-creator Dan Harmon’s perfectionism, and even ran four episodes shorter than was initially intended. There was a time afterwards when the show’s future was uncertain, as Roiland and Harmon were engaged in complicated contract negotiations that delayed the series being renewed, the fears of cancellation being finally allayed with the news that 70 further episodes had been commissioned.
The guest stars were revealed during an interview with EW where Roiland and Dan Harmon discussed what fans can expect from season 4 as well as their general feelings on the show and its success. The names he threw out were Paul Giamatti, Sam Neill, Taika Waititi and Kathleen Turner. The exact details of what kind of character they each would be playing wasn’t specified, although he did state that Neill and Waititi’s characters are the same species; with both actors being New Zealanders he wanted to give them a “Kiwi flavor.” He also mentioned that Neill’s character would not be riffing on any of his famous roles such as Jurassic Park or Event Horizon.
A number of actors of varying calibers have previously voiced guest characters on the show, including Nathan Fillion as an insectoid agent of the Galactic Federation; Jermaine Clement as a psychedelic musician gas cloud; Stephen Colbert as a scientist within a pocket universe; John Oliver as a sentient amoeba running a theme park inside the body of a homeless man; Christina Hendricks as a hive mind entity gradually assimilating whole species and planets; Alfred Molina as the devil in one of many thinly veiled parodies the show has crafted, in this case Stephen King’s Needful Things; Susan Sarandon as a condescending family therapist; Danny Trejo as a grizzled assassin; and Christian Slater, Gillian Jacobs and Lance Reddick as members of an interstellar superhero parody team.
The popularity of Rick and Morty has been ever increasing since its debut as more and more people discover it, and with it's growth higher profile people are becoming interested in being a part of it. Notable is the willingness of actors to embrace the show’s particular brand of lunacy and engage fully with whatever bizarre creation they are given to voice, those mentioned above being only a small fraction of the myriad creatures featured throughout the three currently available seasons. The variety of weird and wonderful aliens and entities the eponymous duo encounter is limited only by the imaginations of those inventing them, and as the show’s profile keeps increasing, so may the fame of fans interested in being a part of it.