RICK AND MORTY Co-Creator Dan Harmon Justifies Recasting The Show's Leads Amid Continued Backlash From Fans

RICK AND MORTY Co-Creator Dan Harmon Justifies Recasting The Show's Leads Amid Continued Backlash From Fans RICK AND MORTY Co-Creator Dan Harmon Justifies Recasting The Show's Leads Amid Continued Backlash From Fans

Many fans seem to agree that Rick and Morty's new voice actors are fine, but franchise co-creator Dan Harmon has now weighed in on the continued backlash coming from certain corners of the internet...

By JoshWilding - Nov 10, 2023 08:11 AM EST
Filed Under: Rick and Morty
Source: Gizmodo (via SFFGazette.com)

After a series of noteworthy controversies, Rick and Morty co-creator and star Justin Roiland was fired from the hit animated series by Adult Swim. That left the show not only without a voice for its two leads but a long list of supporting characters as well. 

Soundalike newcomers Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden have since taken over as Rick and Morty, respectively, and after a so-so couple of episodes, both actors proved themselves worthy replacements with this past Sunday's "That's Amorte." There is a slight difference from Roiland's madcap performances, but for the most part, fans seem as satisfied as they can be with the change. 

Still, some are unwilling to accept the new Rick and Morty, and co-creator Dan Harmon shared his thoughts on that - and the general response to this latest season - in an interview with Gizmodo (via SFFGazette.com).

"The internet is so Balkanized now," he tells the site. "Even within individual comment sections, let alone separate venues, the only rule is complete polarity: everything has to be the absolute worst or the absolute best."

"Even people that say something’s mediocre have to say it with such vehemence that you would think their blood vessels were bursting. So unfortunately, it’ll dictate the course of my entire day if I see the wrong thing, which means that even though there’s a bunch of important stuff out there to see, I kind of have to have a general rule that I’m not Googling anything about this show."

"Stuff will trickle through to me; somebody will say, ‘Hey, the spaghetti episode ['That’s Amorte'] is very well-received,’ and they’ll point me in the direction of, for instance, the Rick and Morty subreddit, where mental health seems to be still having a last stand," Harmon continues. "I don’t know how they manage to cultivate that. I was pretty impressed—I was able to scroll through the entire subreddit, people reacting to the spaghetti episode, and they were just having a nice, lively discussion as if they were just, you know, Star Trek fans discussing a show that they love. And it was very uplifting and wonderful."

"I think the silent majority and healthy majority are like, 'Okay, this is as good as you can manage,'" he said of the reaction to Cardoni and Belden. "The characters are still alive. That was the goal from the outset; fans of the show, consider them fans of the characters, and they just want to continue to watch the show and feel that those characters are still alive, and it seems that we were successful in that mission."

"I think that there is an air of religious zealotry to the people that are insisting that the voices are somehow unignorably, catastrophically different. I think that most people seem to be saying, 'Okay, it sounds like Rick, and it sounds like Morty, let’s proceed.'"

Rick and Morty could have taken a cue from Solar Opposites by heading down a completely different route (Legion star Dan Stevens replaced Roiland as Korvo there) but this franchise, and its leads, are ultimately far more iconic. So too are the show's leads, so for them to sound unrecognisable...well, the backlash likely would have been even worse. Making everyone happy was never going to be easy. 

Still, Cardoni and Belden have both stepped up and, as Harmon says, it's allowed the characters to live on when the alternative was to just cancel the series! 

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Ryguy88 - 11/10/2023, 8:12 AM
Surely the art of voice acting is more than just the sound of their voices.
philinterrupted - 11/10/2023, 8:12 AM
The voices are totally fine. Yes if you’re looking for flaws you can find them but if nobody knew that they were recast, they wouldn’t be looking for those flaws.
oldnoname - 11/10/2023, 9:30 AM
@philinterrupted - I honestly kept forgetting about the recasts during the episodes
IronSpider101 - 11/10/2023, 11:56 AM
@philinterrupted - Rick sounds closer to Roiland Rick than Julie Kavner sounds to how Marge sounded in her glory days.
bobevanz - 11/10/2023, 8:15 AM
Cartoon Network still needed 70 episodes after this incident, you're not getting out of it so easily. I'm glad there's this controversy, now Dan Harmon can finally write the long awaited Community movie!
WhatIfRickJames - 11/10/2023, 8:27 AM
ShOuLdN'T tHe SoUrCe Be ToOnAdO

SATW42 - 11/10/2023, 8:56 AM
"Even people that say something’s mediocre have to say it with such vehemence that you would think their blood vessels were bursting."

These boards are basically stone cold proof of that.

We have users who absolutely flip a shit between 616 and 199999
WarMonkey - 11/10/2023, 9:10 AM
@SATW42 - Welcome to Nerd culture! Overreacting and calling out the stuff you don't like or do like is kinda a basic thing we do and have always done. I mean there is a reason the term "normie" exists as a way to explain non-nerd reactions to products and stories nerds love or have loved.
supermanrex - 11/10/2023, 9:25 AM
clearly he doesnt visit alot of star trek discussion subreddits or comment sections. they are just as toxic, racist, sexist and negative as any other corner of the internet.
newhire13 - 11/10/2023, 12:11 PM
@supermanrex - Bottom line, some of these folks need to get punched in the face more. Getting a little too comfortable being jerks.
supermanrex - 11/10/2023, 12:32 PM
@newhire13 - they always try to reverse toxic response on anyone who calls them out too. like im toxic cause i call you out on your toxic bullshit. like racists saying someone is racists cause they called out for being racist. people piss me off
DR3D - 11/10/2023, 9:32 AM
Things is, Dan Harmon is a big creep too. Funny and creative, but also a creep.
WruceBayne - 11/10/2023, 10:13 AM
Rick and Morty has lost its “magic” this season. The best part of the show was letting Dan Harmon ad-lib Ricks lines. I understand why he’s gone but so is the uniqueness of the show.
dracula - 11/10/2023, 11:02 AM
Are the new actors bad?

Only saw the trailer

They technically sounded right but delivery was flat
newhire13 - 11/10/2023, 12:12 PM
@dracula - Not at all. It’s just new so some people don’t like it
IronSpider101 - 11/10/2023, 11:55 AM
Honestly, I prefer the new actors. Something that put me off from the show earlier on that I had to get over was how unpleasant Morty's voice was. I couldn't help but think of Roiland's Lemongrab, who was a deliberately unpleasant and shrill character. The new Morty sounds enough like Morty that it's still Morty, but could be argued to be older or whatever, and that counts for the minimal amount of change.

Rick sounds exactly the same. I am having zero impact on the episodes from this voice change.

I think this is a phony issue.

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