Stop the bus! Adult Swim has now broken the internet with two Rick and Morty live-action segments that have everyone talking. Now, while no one knows if the proclaimed C-132 universe characters will appear in Season 5’s last two episodes, it got fans thinking: could a Rick and Morty live-action show work?
If you’ve followed the animated show since its inception, it should come as no surprise that the biggest inspiration for Rick and Morty is Doc Brown and Marty McFly from Back to the Future. So, in the ultimate form of cosmic justice, Christopher Lloyd stepped in as Rick Sanchez while It actor Jaeden Martell played his grandson, Morty Smith, in these promotional segments.
It’s simply top-tier casting and it’s no wonder that the fans are abuzz with the possibilities of a Rick and Morty live-action show. Plus, if these segments are anything to go by, the chemistry between Lloyd and Martell is off the charts and they’d be the perfect team for any potential TV series.
Though, you may have to temper your expectations here, since a cameo appearance in an episode is more likely than a full-blown Rick and Morty live-action show. The reasoning is simple: it’d be too expensive to do consistently.
The animated series succeeds because there are no boundaries. From time-travelling adventures to infinite multiverses and pickles, Rick and Morty is about as batsh*t as it gets. You never know what awaits you and that’s the beauty of it. There’s a creative freedom quite like anything else out there.
Now, imagine trying to replicate this in a Rick and Morty live-action show. The budget would need to be through the roof for it to work. Either the bulk of the episodes would need to be filmed in front of a green screen or expensive sets would need to be designed. Additionally, there’s simply no guarantee that it’d bring in the necessary numbers to be deemed a success.
Each episode of the animated series pulls in roughly a million viewers in the U.S. at the moment, but there is a downward trend in its viewership. While that’s certainly more of an audience than some of the CW’s Arrowverse shows as of late, you’d need way more than those numbers to justify the budget to make a Rick and Morty live-action show.
Look, the series has an undeniable cult following, but does it have mass appeal? Unlikely. Maybe a live-action film would be the best solution here, as it’d give the current fans what they want and test the waters with the casual viewers. Until then, you might have to settle with watching the Adult Swim show, which isn’t a bad alternative at all.