Rick and Morty has revealed the names of the actors who replaced Justin Roiland in voicing the show’s titular characters for season 7 and beyond. The new voice actors for the two leads of Rick and Morty were heard for the first time when the official trailer for the animated series’ seventh season was released in September 2023. However, it was only on October 15th, when their names were finally announced.
Who are the new Rick and Morty voice actors?
The narcissistic, alcoholic genius Rick is now voiced by Ian Cardoni, while his bumbling grandson, Morty, is now voiced by Harry Belden.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cardoni is from Boston and graduated from Emerson College. He appeared in the 2013 TV movie Clear History and made some appearances in the sketch comedy show I.R.L. He is also known as the Jack Sparrow Narrator in WrestleMania and has done voice promos for the Syfy drama Resident Alien and Apple TV+.
Belden, meanwhile, was born and raised in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and attended the Second City Training Center. His acting credits include minor roles in the TV shows Proven Innocent, Chicago Med, Joe Pera Talks with You, and the 2021 TV movie Christmas Again.
How long did the casting search take?
Rick and Morty showrunner Scott Marder, who led the casting search, revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that finding the new lead voice actors for Rick and Morty took half a year.
“We heard thousands. It went on for six months,” Marder said of how intensive the casting search was. “It was really wide. It almost went so wide that we debated doing a global hotline though we knew it would wind up being a prank line. We felt like we needed to go that far and wide.”
Marder also admitted that the casting search turned up to be harder than they thought, especially when finding the perfect voice actor for Rick. “Rick was a lot harder than I expected; everyone sounded like Macho Man Randy Savage or like a cousin of his,” Marder recalled. “No one sounded exactly like Rick. It was tricky. People had it in splashes but once you bring them back in, they couldn’t do it conversationally, which is what we needed. It was exhaustive.”
Marder pointed out that both Cardoni and Belden “came through rigorous casting calls.” He said they had their eyes set on Cardoni early on while Belden stood out later in the casting search when they exhausted every resource.
Why did they cast two actors for Rick and Morty?
Rick and Morty were originally voiced by just one person, Justin Roiland, so why did the show cast two actors to replace Roiland?
Marder told The Hollywood Reporter that he personally wanted to cast two different actors for the roles right off the bat. “For sheer quality of life, it’d be easier for the amount of work required for both characters,” Marder explained. “We watched it over the years wear down on Roiland’s voice. It felt unfair to do that to someone.”
Series co-creator Dan Harmon added, “It’s also smart [to cast two actors] because we want the fan experience to continue with as little disruption as possible. In a weird way, catering to the idea that there’s been a replacement of a single human being — an auteur — is going to play into the disruption factor. We really want people to keep believing these characters are real.”
Did they consider casting a big name?
Both Marder and Harmon admitted that the idea of casting a big name to replace Roiland came to their minds, but it was something that they didn’t fully pursue, as their priority was to find new voices that sound very much like Rick and Morty always have.
“I always try to look at it from a fan’s perspective: Imagine Homer Simpson sounding different. I would have been instantly out,” explained Marder. “As much as I love this show, I felt like it needed to be exactly the same.”
Harmon also pointed out that casting a big name to replace Roiland “would minimize the chances of the show’s survival.”
Why was Justin Roiland fired from Rick and Morty?
Justin Roiland was fired by Adult Swim in January 2023 after it became public that month that he was charged with one felony count of domestic battery with corporal injury and one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, and/or deceit in Orange County, California. This was in connection with an alleged incident back in January 2020 toward an unnamed woman he was reportedly dating at the time.
Shortly after the public revelation of the indictment, Roiland’s name was further tarnished when his questionable behavior toward minors on social media made headlines.
For instance, one Twitter user shared their own alleged conversation with Roiland. The messages appear to have included the following question from Roiland: “Are you going to get Morty tattoo’d on your boob licking your nipple? If not you, then who?”
From my personal collection. pic.twitter.com/jv0vczWBJr
— K (@Cvntfibers) January 16, 2023
Another Twitter user claimed that Roiland used a friend named “Christy” to reach her. The Twitter user believes that Christy “works/worked as a predatory scout for him” and that she looks for “young girls who looked a certain way” so they could have “threesomes for herself and Justin.”
typed this up on fb after finding yet another person who roiland was sexually inappropriate with. (1/4) pic.twitter.com/t3VrMcdL1k
— the demon seed of davey jones (@opossumopunk) November 20, 2022
There’s also a Twitter user also boldly claimed that Roiland is using his position in the animation industry to sexually exploit people including minors.
This was literally his response to me telling him about my childhood sexual trauma. At the time he was drunk and we were just getting to know each other. In context with all the other information about him out there now – yes he is a fucking insane creep pic.twitter.com/5r4v5CQOAG
— @arlol.bsky.social (@arlocado) January 12, 2023
While Roiland has not directly addressed these accusations, it’s safe to say that these claims contributed to Adult Swim’s decision to sever its ties with him.
Was Justin Roiland found guilty?
No, Justin Roiland was not found guilty. He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, which were dropped in March 2023, due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
Shortly after the charges against him were dropped, Roiland took to Twitter to release a statement entitled Justice.
“I have always known that these claims were false – and I never had any doubt that this day would come,” he wrote. “I’m thankful that this case has been dismissed but, at the same time, I’m still deeply shaken by the horrible lies that were reported about me during this process.
Roiland continued, “Most of all, I’m disappointed that so many people were so quick to judge without knowing the facts, based solely on the word of an embittered ex trying to bypass due process and have me ‘canceled’. That it may have succeeded, even partially, is shameful. However, now that the legal case has ended. I’m determined to move forward and focus both on my creative projects and restoring my good name.”
Although the charges against Justin Roiland were dropped, his firing from Rick and Morty was not reversed.
Where to watch Rick and Morty season 7
You can watch new episodes of Rick and Morty season 7 live on Adult Swim on Sunday nights at 11 p.m. ET. The first six seasons of Rick and Morty are also streaming on Hulu and Max. Watch the season 7 trailer below: