‘Mythic Quest’ at SDCC 2022: Cast and creators tease Poppy and Ian origin story, casually announce season 5 (!!!)

Apple TV+ brought the whole Mythic Quest team together for SDCC 2022, as fans who made it into Ballroom 20 on Saturday were treated to an exclusive first look at the season 3 trailer. We also learned what we can expect from this year’s episodes, and were gifted with a surprising and casual announcement about their plans for additional season.

2022 marks the first year that Apple TV+ brought property to San Diego Comic-Con, and what title could be more appropriate for SDCC than their game development workplace comedy Mythic Quest? Their presence at SDCC is long overdue, but given that it’s been over a year since Mythic Quest has even been on our screens, I think everyone is more than a little bit ready to learn what’s to come in season 3 and beyond.

Luckily, the cast and creative team behind the show gave us everything we wanted—and more! In attendance were creator, executive producer and star Rob McElhenney (Ian Grimm), co-creator and executive producer Megan Ganz, and executive producer and star David Hornsby (David Brittlesbee), as well as cast members Charlotte Nicdao (Poppy Li), Danny Pudi (Brad Bakshi), Imani Hakim (Dana), Jessie Ennis (Jo), and Ashly Burch (Rachel). The panel was moderated by Craig Mazin (Lou).

‘Mythic Quest’ at SDCC 2022

First up, we got to watch the Mythic Quest season 3 teaser trailer, which showed some of the upcoming storylines for a few of our favorite MQ players.

The clip begins with a black-and-white flashback to season 2, when Ian and Poppy told David they were leaving Mythic Quest. It then jumps ahead into full color, revealing the name of Ian and Poppy’s new company to be GrimmPop—which is both catchy and fitting, and I’m completely in love with the imagery it presents.

The rest of the trailer gives us a quick look at some of our favorites: Brad is back from prison and working as a janitor, Sue says “no fucking thanks” to NFTs, Jo’s murderous tendencies are alive and well (is Elizabeth really Ian’s middle name?), and Carol’s long-suffering role as the head of HR will keep her suffering a little longer. Oh, and Joe Manganiello makes a surprise appearance, much to Ian’s delight.

After the clip (which got resounding applause and cheers, as you can imagine), Mazin asked everyone about the secret of the success of Mythic Quest, and in true David form, Hornsby stood up all by himself, getting a big laugh from everyone in the room. The real answer, however, came from McElhenney, who says it absolutely comes down to chemistry. For him, Ganz, and Hornsby, at least, having worked together for so long lends itself to some truly spectacular television.

Related: Staffer Subjectivities: ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Hacks,’ ‘Mythic Quest,’ and more of our best 2021 TV moments

But what about Mythic Quest season 3? Ganz says, “We’re dealing a lot with the central theme of the show, which is the partnership between Ian and Poppy—how that’s gonna survive when they break away from Mythic Quest, where Poppy was decidedly working for Ian and they tried to work together on Poppy’s game.”

She goes on to say, “The show is all about egos and how you set those aside to get creative work done, and so let’s see how they fare—how their partnership fares—when they’re outside the protective bubble of Mythic Quest.”

Moving on to GrimmPop will present plenty of new opportunities and, I’m sure, plenty of headaches, too. When we first met Ian and Poppy, Mythic Quest was already a wildly popular game. Sure, they struggled with new ideas and getting on the same page, but building a second hit game from the ground up is going to be extremely difficult and will certainly cause some problems.

Later at the Mythic Quest SDCC 2022 panel, Nicdao says Ian and Poppy are “best friends, and they need each other, and they care about each other deeply, and they just kind of don’t know… Like, they need couples counseling, you know?”

“I don’t think self-reflection is really a strong suit of either one of them,” McElhenney adds. “If they were able to figure out those problems, there would be no show.”

Elaborating on that point, McElhenney says, “A lot of what the show is about is taking people who are very gifted and driven and ambitious, and […] they want to make the greatest game that they possibly can, and they recognize that they need each other and that they do love each other, but it’s a constant push-pull because they have different wants and needs within the relationship, and different working styles. And so much of the show is about collaboration and working together, and the pitfalls and struggles with confidence that come from that. And if you strip that away, the show goes away.”

Luckily, we don’t have to worry about whether the show is going away any time soon, which means we can look to what’s happening with the other characters this season. We learn that Dana is going to be central to everything that happens, in the way that she fits into all the different relationships and how she evolves into her own person.

Hakim says, “We find out that Dana and Ian have a lot of similarities, and they’re just this unlikely duo. And Dana’s really coming into her own because in season 1 we see Dana is this nice person who doesn’t really say a lot, but Dana isn’t nice. She’s kind—but don’t take her kindness for weakness. She has this passion in the middle of her gut, and she doesn’t know exactly how to tackle that, until she aligns with Ian and Poppy. By the way, they’re terrible bosses.”

Even though Ian and Poppy made a lot of progress over the last two seasons, it seems like they still have much to learn, especially now that they’re truly in charge of their entire company. But what about Dana? “She takes what the bosses are willing to give her, and she makes it her own, and she just slays, really,” Hakim says.

And you can’t talk about Dana without talking about Rachel, can you? Apparently, she’s not so morally certain this season, with Burch adding, “I think what we discover about Rachel this season is that she’s kind of dumb, actually.”

We all know Rachel isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but Burch goes on to explain at the Mythic Quest SDCC 2022 panel, “She’s sort of been adopting certain types of language and certain types of world views because she thinks it’s the right thing to do, and she’s sort of realizing that she actually wants different things.”

Could this be a change in character for Rachel? Maybe! Burch finishes out her answer by adding, “There’s a bit of an existential crisis that she has going into this season of ‘Who am I? What am I willing to do?'”

When Burch says Rachel isn’t smart enough to be a writer, Mazin adds, “You’re smart enough to do something else that’s pretty evil. I love it.” Well, now I can’t wait to find out what she does and how it affects her and everyone else this season.

mythic quest sdcc 2022 david
Another character I’m very interested to see in Mythic Quest season 3 is David, considering how we left him at the end of season 2 and how the Mythic Quest teaser trailer kicked off. And Mazin got to the heart of everyone’s question: Is David okay??

Hornsby is happy to share the answer: “My journey is—well, this season specifically—now that Ian and Poppy have left and thus have left me in charge, we get to see what it’s like when Mythic Quest is left at the helm of David Brittlesby… Which, uh, I’m on time and on budget, baby.”

David deserves that happiness after everything the MQ team has put him through over the course of two seasons, but Hornsby does warn us that Ian and Poppy try to worm themselves back in, and it will cause problems. Other than that? He adds, “I’m searching for a beefcake this year, and I find it in Joe Manganiello.”

David’s reaction in the trailer to seeing said beefcake wasn’t quite as excited as Ian’s, and we’ll have to see exactly how this plays out. Is David really searching for a beefcake, or is he just impressed with Joe Manganiello’s physical form? I guess we’ll have to wait to see!

But Ian and Poppy aren’t the only causes for concern when it comes to David’s happiness. “For Brad, going to prison was a win, so it was kind of fun to play that,” Pudi says at the Mythic Quest SDCC 2022 panel. “And then, as you see in the trailer here, he finds his way back into Mythic Quest, this time in a new role as the janitor. And it’s this whole journey where I believe, you know, maybe it’s time for me to reform. I’m a changed man. David may be a little suspicious of my behavior, what I’m up to. You know, I have access to different places in the building, too.”

That all sounds pretty ominous! Prison does change a lot of people, but I have a hard time believing it’ll change Brad, especially since he sees going to prison as a good thing. And just because he doesn’t have the same kind of power he did in previous seasons doesn’t mean he can’t cause trouble for David and the others.

As excited as we all are for what’s happening on screen this year, there is plenty to be excited about behind the camera, as well. Last year, Ganz directed her first episode of television on Mythic Quest, and this year, David Hornsby, Danny Pudi, and Ashly Burch will all direct an episode, as well.

While Burch went into detail about her newfound appreciation for the level of communication directing requires and Pudi talked about the importance of reflections and the decisions he had to made as a director, Hornsby simply said, “It was pretty easy.”

“He did, also, in truly Hornsby fashion, direct the episode where he has the main storyline,” Ganz adds.

“I was very tough on myself,” Hornsby clarifies.

This is exciting not only for their personal careers, but to see what each of these actors brings to the table as directors. I’m particularly looking forward to Hornsby’s episode, if only because we know his character will have the focus of the episode. (Maybe this is where he finds his beefcake?)

Another big question fans of Mythic Quest have is whether or not we’ll get another flashback episode, ala “A Dark Quiet Death” and “Backstory!”. McElhenney simply says, “Yes.” It’s Mazin’s duty as the moderator at the Mythic Quest SDCC 2022 panel to probe for a more detailed answer, and McElhenney adds, “I don’t understand not giving away things. We want people to watch!”

Ganz goes on to say, “It’s a little bit of an origin story about Poppy and Ian.” And, of course, Nicdao had to throw in a bit of an, “Ooh la la!”

We weren’t the only ones wondering what else is in store for us. Mazin asks the panel, “Can you give us just a little hint of something? Anything about where this is all going?” and Ganz had no trouble telling us what we really want to hear: “Season 4 is next. Then there’s going to be a season 5.”

As to where this is all going? “We have some ideas, but I feel like because we knew we had season 4, we wrote the end of this season with that in mind. So, last season we ended being like, ‘Which way do we go?’ and we kind of had no plan. Then when we started season 3, we were like, ‘Why did we end it this way?'”

I, for one, have complete faith in the team, especially after hearing all about Mythic Quest at SDCC 2022. The fact that we’re getting a season 5 shows that Apple TV+ has complete faith in this show, and it’s wonderful knowing we don’t have to be worried about the show ending for at least a couple more years.

It’s also reassuring that they wrote Mythic Quest season 3 with season 4 in mind, since they’d already been picked up. Even if this season ends on a cliffhanger, we know we’ll get answers when season 4 comes out.

One audience member had another question for the Always Sunny alums about whether or not Kaitlin Olson or Charlie Day will ever appear on the show. Ganz says, “We almost had Charlie on this season.” But as exciting as that would be, she goes on to say, “We thought about having them on maybe like a standalone episode or something” but says it broke reality a little bit too much for them, finishing with, “We do have these two guys, is that not enough for you!?”

One thing about fandom: We’re never satisfied, and we always want more! But with a confirmed fifth season of Mythic Quest, there’s at least some chance that either of them could be on one day.

‘Mythic Quest’ season 3 will air on Apple TV+ in Fall 2022