Rick and Morty co-creator (and lead star) Justin Roiland found himself ousted from the Adult Swim series after a series of controversies which saw him accused of domestic violence and sexual misconduct. The charges were dropped but the damage was done, particularly after years of allegedly troubling behaviour caught up with the voice of Rick, Morty, and countless supporting characters.
The show must go on, though, and Rick and Morty's creative team made the decision to recast Roiland's roles.
The season 7 premiere aired on Adult Swim last night and, when the credits rolled, we finally learned (via Toonado.com) who the show's new lead stars are. Following an extensive six-month search which featured thousands of candidates, newcomers Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden have landed the roles of a lifetime.
Cardoni plays Rick, while Belden takes on the role of Morty. Unlike Solar Opposites, which has replaced Roiland with the very different-sounding Dan Stevens as Korvo, these soundalikes are setting out to pick up where the original Rick and Morty actor left off.
Cardoni is a Boston native who graduated from Emerson College. He's appeared in Larry David's Clear History and lends his voice to promos for Syfy drama Resident Alien, WWE, and Apple TV+. As for Belden, he hails from Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Among his acting credits are Joe Pera Talks With You, Proven Innocent, and Chicago Med.
As you might expect, due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, we won't be hearing from either actor for the foreseeable future.
As we mentioned, Roiland voiced a host of supporting characters, including Mr. Poopybutthole. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter whether Cardoni and Belden will take on those roles as well, showrunner Scott Marder says, "We are happy for them to take on more of these smaller characters. In the time crunch we were in, it was a lot to ask either of them to fully take on Poopy as well because it’s the most expanded role Poopy has had."
"We ultimately found another guy, John Allen, who came in late in the game. He took pressure off of Ian and Harry who were both working on Poopy but it felt like too much for either of them to be doing him in an episode of the show that they had to completely re-do."
What did you think about Rick and Morty's season 7 premiere and the show's new lead voice actors?