- Solar Opposites season 4 is the biggest and strongest yet, with ridiculous adventures for the Solar family and a focus on Korvo and Terry’s relationship.
- The Wall storyline in season 4 is big and ambitious, with the writers carefully planning its development and leading to a big finish.
- Cherie has had a rough journey, but there’s hope for a happy ending. The show’s creators have more ideas for The Wall and are excited about seasons 6 and 7.
Everyone’s favorite alien family has returned with a twist in Solar Opposites season 4. The latest chapter in the acclaimed Hulu sci-fi comedy sees the Solars finally trying to live normal lives in order to prevent another deadly transformation by the Pupa, though proves easier said than done.
Dan Stevens now leads the star-studded cast of Solar Opposites season 4 alongside returning stars Thomas Middleditch, Marcy Mack, Sean Giambrone, Tiffany Haddish and Christina Hendricks. Continuing the same hijinks that have made the show a hit in previous seasons while also properly evolving some of its characters and subplots, the latest chapter of the Hulu series could very well be its biggest yet.
In honor of the show’s return, Screen Rant exclusively interviewed supervising producer Sydney Ryan to discuss Solar Opposites season 4, the larger scale of its new stories, the family’s new dynamics, the show’s future and Justin Roiland’s recasting.
Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, and the show covered here would not exist without the labor of the writers and actors in both unions.
Sydney Ryan Talks Solar Opposites Season 4
Screen Rant: Season 4 feels like one of the biggest yet between its stories of The Wall, Silvercops and how the Pupa has affected the family’s dynamic. What was the biggest goal in the writers room for this new season of episodes?
Sydney Ryan: Season 4 is our biggest and strongest yet! The writers worked hard to bring the Solar family together for more stories this season and I think the fans are really going to get a kick out of the ridiculous adventures that they go on. The writers also concentrated on Korvo and Terry’s relationship more, and it has been really nice to watch their relationship grow. Korvo and Terry are teammates, but they’re also partners, and I think they make the most adorable couple!
What would you say was one story arc that went through the most work or was really focused on during this season’s development?
Sydney Ryan: Cherie’s spy thriller storyline in The Wall is big and ambitious this season, so the writers spent a lot of time figuring out how that arc should play out. They sprinkled it throughout the season, and it feels like watching a whole dramatic series one piece at a time. The balance between the Solar’s doing insane, hilarious things and the drama of The Wall is part of what makes Solar so great and unique, and we always try to lead to a big, standalone Wall episode that finishes The Wall story each season. That means the writers have to always be careful that we’re not doing too may Wall stories as we lead up to the big finish, but they also don’t want you to know what’s coming. There’s a lot of planning that goes into The Wall (and the Silvercops stories) that spans across the seasons.
The Wall story, in particular, continues to be one of the most engrossing of the show’s plots, though this season interestingly feels like it’s nearing its end. Is that the feeling in the writers room, or do you, Mike and the rest of the team have more ideas in mind?
Sydney Ryan: Mike McMahan and Josh Bycel begin each season by talking about what kind of theme The Wall should have, and they’ve had a lot of fun with it. Season 1 was an Escape From New York drama, Season 2 was a murder mystery, then we had a creature feature, and now a Cold War spy drama in Season 4. There are so many more ideas that they’ve yet to use for The Wall that we could go on forever, but Mike has an over-arching plan for The Wall story that still needs a couple more seasons (at least) to tell! He hasn’t mapped it all out for me, but I know he has a plan for seasons 6 and 7 that he’s excited about.
On a similar note, do you see a happy ending for Cherie at any point? She’s been put through the wringer these past three seasons, and season 4 feels like one of her most emotional yet.
Sydney Ryan: Cherie has really had it rough over the seasons and the question of ‘will she have a happy ending’ is really something we’d have to ask Mike about. If I had to guess, I would hope that she’s going to end up ok. It would be pretty brutal to see her go through so much hell to not have her come out on top in the end. That being said, I only have an inkling of where her story will go in the future and I really hope that we’ll get a Season 6, so we can continue her story.
As a Rick and Morty fan, I was delighted to hear Spencer Grammer pop up this season. Have you and the team been trying to get more of that cast involved with this show, or was that you feeling she was perfect for her character?
Sydney Ryan: When I read Episode 407 “The Cardboard Dead Drop”, I immediately thought Spencer would be perfect for that big character, and when I pitched her in the casting meeting, I was excited when Mike McMahan immediately agreed. Spencer Grammer is an incredible actress, and it was really great to get to work with her again! Mike and I loved working with that cast, and I would jump at the chance to get to work with Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell again too. We all worked together for many years, and not only are they super talented, but we’re all friendly. It’s nice to work with people who get the show and what you’re going for!
This season ends on quite the interesting note setting up a new location for the already-confirmed season 5, will this new location remain the center of the story for the next season, or are there plans to return to what was the Solar-Opposites’ home?
Sydney Ryan: The writers are always trying to find stories for the season finales that offer changes to the show…and the Season 4 finale has bigger changes than we’ve ever seen before. I can’t reveal much about Season 5, but we’re already deep in production, and we have some really funny stories that fans are going to love.
As is the subject on everyone’s minds, the revelations of Justin Roiland’s legal struggles was, I’m sure, a shock for you and your team as it was to audiences. Can you tell me how this season changed in accordance to his being let go from this, among other shows? There’s the joke in the opening of the premiere, but I’m curious if this change led to any other major rewrites on the show.
Sydney Ryan: The only real writing change to the season was the addition of the Cold Open in the premiere episode to explain the voice change in the world of the show. You can actually tell that the scene right after the opening credits was the original Cold Open, but it still works great. [Chuckles] The voice change didn’t really require any changes to the Korvo stories this year, so it didn’t necessitate any rewrites. We’ve enjoyed letting Dan Stevens adlib some British slang into the dialogue, which makes us laugh every time it comes up. We had already delivered the season, and we were pretty far into post-production, so the only real change was making sure we could get our new Korvo recorded and the animation updated so that the new performance fit and played well.
Dan Stevens does a wonderful job in making Korvo his own while still keeping him rooted in what audiences have come to know and love about the character. I do find it interesting, though, that the team went for a completely new voice while the team at Rick and Morty are searching for the best soundalike for season 7. Was there a consideration to take a similar tactic when looking for Roiland’s replacement, or did it feel like the best step was to get someone completely new? I’d also love to hear about the search in general, and how you ultimately narrowed it down to Dan.
Sydney Ryan: When we found out that Korvo was going to be recast, we didn’t want to match the previous voice. We felt it would come across as uncanny valley, or like we were doing a cover song. Solar is a show where weird things are totally normal: the aliens have ray guns that can shrink people down, or they can bring a book to life or whatever you can imagine. We thought it would be funny to take this curveball and use it as an opportunity to do something wild. We all figured it was already going to be distracting, so why not lean into it and make it memorable and fun? We worked with our amazing casting team, listened to a TON of auditions, and we met with a lot of talented actors. Marci Proietto, the Executive Vice President and Head of 20th Television Animation, was the one who suggested Dan because he had done an exceptional job on another 20th show. It turned out Dan was already a fan of Solar Opposites, which was awesome, AND his audition was hilarious and heartfelt. Korvo’s a complicated character to play because he’s brusque and pissed all the time, but you still love him. Dan threaded that needle perfectly! He’s a phenomenal actor, and we’re so lucky to have him on the show.
About Solar Opposites Season 4
Solar Opposites centers around a team of four aliens who are evenly split on whether Earth is awful or awesome. Korvo (Dan Stevens) and Yumyulack (Sean Giambrone) only see the pollution, crass consumerism, and human frailty while Terry (Thomas Middleditch) and Jesse (Mary Mack) love TV, junk food and fun stuff. “Solar Opposites” is executive produced by Mike McMahan and Josh Bycel. The series is produced by 20th Television Animation.
Solar Opposites season 4 is now streaming on Hulu!