Adult Swim Is Recasting Justin Roiland’s ‘Rick and Morty’ Voice Roles As We Speak
When Justin Roiland was unceremoniously ousted from his many animated projects after he was charged with domestic violence (the charges were later dropped), reports emerged alleging that Roiland’s creative contributions to shows like Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites had been reduced entirely to vocal performances recorded in his home studio. Roiland was supposedly convinced that his irreplaceable pipes were his insurance against ever being fired. Now, just a few months after he was removed from every series bearing his name, Adult Swim is hunting for his replacement.
In an interview with the French publication Première, Michael Ouweleen, the president of Adult Swim, revealed that the channel is currently undergoing an extensive recruitment process to find the perfect soundalike for Roiland’s various characters in Rick and Morty. Maybe all those TikTokers who tried to throw their hat in the ring back in January might actually get a shot.
“He will be replaced in dubbing,” Ouweleen said, explaining that “the idea is that we feel that they are the same characters. Listen: voices are obviously super important in an animated series. … But I’ve been in animation for a long time, and I know that what makes a series is its different parts coming together.” Ouweleen explained that these iconic characters aren’t just a voice — they’re an intersection of design, writing and performance, and, clearly, Roiland has only contributed one of those three parts in recent years. “I have reason to believe that the transition will go well,” Ouweleen claimed.
Though the Orange County District Attorney who first pressed the charges against Roiland, decided not to pursue the case due to to her opinion that the evidence was insufficient to reach a conviction, Roiland’s reputation in the wake of the scandal suffered major setbacks after previously internal strife between him and his creative partners became public knowledge. Insiders revealed that the relationship between Roiland and Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon had been all-but-severed for years before the domestic violence allegations came to light. Roiland supposedly hadn’t been involved in the writing of the show since its third season, and the accusations made against him were the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back after years of bad behavior behind the scenes.
One unnamed Rick and Morty producer pondered, “It’s a rather unique situation. I’ll take an example: there have been several great Bugs Bunny voice actors, and I love what Jeff Bennett has done with them. But it’s not Mel Blanc! And yet we recognize the character.” He believes that the quality of Roiland’s former characters won’t just be preserved – it may even be improved. Said the producer, “I even think that for Rick and Morty we will do even better. It will be fine. It’ll be great.”
Even if Adult Swim can’t find an absolutely perfect soundalike, at the very least, they can find a performer who doesn’t send teenagers disturbing DMs on Twitter.