Skip to main content

Fantasy Casting: Star Trek The Next Needs Jack Black As Harry Mudd

The script for a second Star Trek movie hasn’t been written yet and we don’t even really know for sure if JJ Abrams’ is directing it, but here's a bit of fantasy casting: What about Jack Black as Harry Mudd?

AICN contacted Abrams with a rumor indicating that Black might play the infamous Harry Mudd in the movie, and Abrams responded this way: “Yes, talking to Jack Black about doing something -- but not Mudd.” He doesn’t say what he is talking to him about, but does confirm that “Bryan, Damon, Alex and Bob and I have not had MEETING ONE about a sequel. Brief, casual, blue-sky conversations, of course. But "okay, what's next for The Crew?" Not a meeting. So any character decisions, let alone actor discussions, feel like a ways away.”

So if they haven’t made any character decisions, what the hell is he talking to Black about? Abrams doesn’t say. Maybe he’s just pitching him on some sort of random, Christian Slater-like cameo. Or maybe he’s talking to him about being in another movie entirely. Personally I really like the idea of having Jack Black play Harry Mudd. Since Abrams says they haven’t made any character decisions yet, let me make my pitch for that right now.

Bringing back a character like Khan and remaking him in another movie is a horrible idea and a total waste of the whole reboot concept which they’ve worked so hard to create in the first place. Using someone like Mudd… that could be inspired.

Who is Harry Mudd? He’s the anti-Khan, a two-bit con man, a hustler, and not a very good one. He’s a rogue and a trader, but not exactly a villain. Think of him like an overweight Captain jack Sparrow. The Enterprise first encounters him in an episode called “Mudd’s Women”, where he’s found floating through space inexplicably accompanied by a harem of beautiful women. He’s brought on board and tries to pull a fast one on Kirk. Later he ends up ruling an entire planet populated by eager to please robot women in I, Mudd.

After the original series left television, Mudd went on to appear in ancillary Trek projects. He shows up in the animated series and makes several notable appearances in DC’s “Star Trek” comics. He’s an extremely popular character among serious Trek fans and one that generates at least a little of the name recognition journalists and movie executives so desperately covet. That makes him perfect fodder for the next Trek and better yet, I can’t imagine anyone more perfect to play him than Jack Black.

Mudd is a completely hilarious, immoral, overweight, mustachioed, self-important failure who’d be almost sympathetic if he weren’t also so completely untrustworthy. Jack Black could nail this and Harry Mudd, more than any other Trek character I can think of, would fit perfectly into this new, more lighthearted Trek universe. Rethink this Mudd thing Abrams. You may be leapfrogging the perfect idea.

Here’s Mudd in your eye: