Adult Swim intends to develop a streaming spinoff of its popular animated science fiction comedy Rick and Morty, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show, titled The Vindicators, follows a team of superheroes introduced in an episode from Rick and Morty‘s third season, “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender.” The original episode’s two writers, Erica Rosbe (You’re the Worst) and Sarah Carbiener (Good Game), serve as the executive producers of The Vindicators, along with Rick and Morty creators Dan Harmon (Krapopolis) and Justin Roiland (Solar Opposites), Polygon reports.
All of the characters mentioned in The Vindicators‘ official description have previously appeared in the Rick and Morty episode on which the show is based, via The Hollywood Reporter. In the episode, Supernova is played by Gillian Jacobs (Invincible), Vance Maximus is voiced by Christian Slater (Dr. Death), Crocubot’s voice comes courtesy of veteran voice actor Maurice LaMarche (The Tick), Alan Rails boasts the sonorous voice of Lance Reddick (Bosch), and Roiland himself provides the voice of the team’s intern, Noob-Noob. It is yet unknown which actors, if any, will reprise their voice roles for the spinoff.
According to the DVD commentary for “Vindicators 3: The Return of Worldender,” Rosbe and Carbiener’s original vision for the superhero team was on a much larger scale and had to be significantly winnowed down to meet the demands of the half-hour format. Roiland mentions during the commentary that the draft they sent him was somewhere between fifty-five and sixty pages: “I was reading it on my iPad and I was like, ‘This is so fucking good,’ and then I realized I was getting closer to page 40, and then all of a sudden, I’m past page 50… and then the next place my mind went to was, like, ‘How can we do all this?'” Harmon jokingly suggests in the middle of the commentary that there was ample material for “Vindicators 4.” Early drafts reportedly featured Vindicators who wound up not making the final cut, including a Mister Fantastic-like figure named Dr. Reach, a set of conjoined twins, and an elderly woman who knits, via the commentary. A bow-and-arrow wielder named Quiver actually played a huge role in a proposed plot-line with Morty at its center, but both Quiver and her storyline were scrapped during rewrites, according to the commentary.
In a April 2017 episode of his podcast Harmontown, Harmon was open about how aggrieved he was at the final cut of the Vindicators episode. “Episode 304… is the worst. It’s my fault it’s going to be the worst episode of Rick and Morty ever,” he grumbled. You can listen to the full episode below:
Some of the other digital programs Adult Swim has recently approved include Aqua Donk Side Pieces, a spinoff of Aqua Teen Hunger Force based upon the series’ many adversarial characters, and an animated fifth season of the fantasy workplace comedy Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, according to The Hollywood Reporter.