It’s called Solar Opposites, it’s going to be on Hulu in the U.S., and it doesn’t feature any characters who happen to be the smartest people in the universe. But the art style and the sly, snarky sense of humour definitely echo Rick and Morty, which means Solar Opposites should have zero trouble finding an audience when it debuts next year. We got our first glimpse at Comic-Con.
Besides Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland (who’s the co-creator and voices Korvo, one of the older aliens), the panel featured executive producer Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty head writer, and also the guy behind Star Trek animated series Lower Decks), executive producer Josh Bycel (Happy Endings), and actors Mary Mack (who voices Jessie, the alien who resembles a “female girl child,” even though it’s a genderless species) and Sean Giambrone (voice of the other kid-looking alien, Yumyulack, who’s actually a ruthless bounty hunter-in-training).
Not present was the voice of Terry, the other adult alien, and though Roiland and McMahan weren’t allowed to officially name the actor, they dropped some heavy hints referencing a certain Silicon Valley star. The baby, who isn’t technically a baby (more on that in a minute), is voiced by McMahan’s five-year-old son.
Guest voices, the co-creators announced, will include Tiffany Hadish (as the spaceship’s AI) and a slew of Rick and Morty alums: Alfred Molina, who voiced the devilish Rick foil “Mr. Needful”, Andrew Daly (a.k.a. Krombopulos Michael), Christina Hendricks, who played Rick’s ex, the hivemind Unity and Alan Tudyk, who did a voice on the episode where Rick and Morty journey to the microverse.
As Roiland explained it, the show is about a group of plant-based aliens whose utopian home planet is destroyed by an asteroid. The planet sends out 100 escape pods, one of which ends up crash-landing in an average American neighbourhood. So it’s an immigrant story about “aliens who are unfamiliar with everything,” with an emphasis on pop culture and just cultural customs in general.
Some of the aliens try to assimilate (hint: the ones who change their names), while others — like Korvo, whose “I hate Earth!” diatribe is part of the show’s opening credits — do not. Meanwhile, that baby-looking character is actually a pupa, a hybrid of a baby, a pet and a living hard drive (that nobody can figure out how to unlock) that stores all of the homeworld’s information in its DNA. It’s also a “ticking time bomb,” per Roiland, that will one day eat its fellow aliens and take over the Earth. So that’s something to look forward to?
Early on, the creators decided not to “worry about the ALF shit,” which is to say the aliens won’t be spending their time hiding from the Men in Black. “They’re aliens, no one gives a shit,” Roiland said. The creators hinted that the show will feature lots of comedic, accidental violence — one of the characters is a budding bounty hunter, after all — and the clips and artwork shared at Comic-Con spoke to the sort of edgy humour we can expect to enjoy from the show.
In one episode, Terry (who’s wearing a “Dick Wolf” t-shirt) and Korvo become obsessed with a children’s TV show character named Funbucket, only to have their minds blown when they learn that TV characters aren’t real… so they race home and create a real Funbucket (who immediately assumes they’re going to violate him in some way) using their ship’s matter transfer ray. We also see a snowman being built using dismembered human limbs instead of sticks for arms and legs. Stuff like that.
Given the similarities between Solar Opposites and Rick and Morty, it’s tempting to think about a crossover between the shows — but considering the projects aren’t made by the same companies, Roiland said that won’t happen “unless everything merges into one huge corporation.” The creators did say the whole season would drop at once, something they knew when they were writing it, so look for the show to be a blend of serialised and episodic elements.
The first eight-episode season of Solar Opposites is coming sometime next autumn.