- Rick and Morty decided not to hire a famous celebrity to replace Justin Roiland’s voice, as it could have potentially killed the show.
- Solar Opposites took a different approach by hiring a famous star, Dan Stevens, to replace Roiland’s character, Korvo.
- Rick and Morty made the right choice by hiring soundalikes for Rick and Morty to preserve the illusion that the characters are real.
Co-creator Dan Harmon explains why Rick & Morty season 7 didn’t follow the Solar Opposites approach to replacing Justin Roiland. In addition to helping birth this pair of animated sci-fi comedies, Roiland also served as a main voice actor on both shows, leaving each facing the problem of replacing him after he was fired in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. While Solar Opposites took a big swing by hiring famous star Dan Stevens to step in, Rick and Morty elected to bring aboard multiple non-famous voice actors to play the various characters previously voiced by its ousted co-creator.
The result of Roiland’s recasting is available for all to judge as Rick and Morty season 7 has hit Adult Swim, and with the new voices of Rick Sanchez and Morty Smith now revealed, Harmon has explained why his show decided not to do what Solar Opposites did in bringing aboard new voice talent. According to Harmon, performing a big reset by hiring someone famous (like Elijah Wood, as Harmon jokes) to do the voices once performed by Roiland might have quite simply killed the show. Check out the co-creator’s remarks below (via THR):
I hate to call him out but Elijah Wood really abused having my personal number. What a vulture this guy was! He’s always wanted to be Morty. Elijah, please regain your professionalism! … No, we didn’t have celebrities banging down the door that I know of. Maybe in the very nascent stages of crisis mode, surely there was a half-hearted exploration of the possibility of what Solar Opposites did. But obviously that would minimize the chances of the show’s survival.
Rick and Morty Did the Right Thing By Hiring Soundalikes
Solar Opposites recasting Korvo with Downton Abbey star Stevens was a stunt move meant to smooth over Roiland’s departure, and it worked because Korvo is not an iconic animated character with a distinctive voice that many people recognize. Rick and Morty however are iconic animated characters with distinctive voices recognized by millions, and it would have been suicidal to try casting a celebrity in those roles, in hopes that fans would simply accept the completely incongruous and desperate-looking move.
Harmon has indeed spoken before on why the decision was made to hire two different people to play Rick and Morty, explaining that he wanted to preserve the illusion that the characters are real. Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden, the soundalikes hired to play Rick and Morty respectively, may not have quite the same wild improvisational skills as Roiland, but they do have the characters’ voices down, and through one episode of season 7, the transition has not been too jarring. Given the relatively smooth change-over from Roiland to the new actors, it seems Rick & Morty made the right call in how it approached the recast.