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Greg Grunberg Wanted The Chance To Redefine Harry Mudd On Star Trek

Given how many times the "Star Trek" universe has expanded, it is no surprise that some characters have been played by many different actors. Of course, there is the example of Captain James T. Kirk, whose most iconic version will always be that of William Shatner, but has also been played by the likes of Chris Pine in the Kelvin timeline and now, with "Strange New Worlds," Paul Wesley. In fact, "Strange New Worlds" and, to a lesser extent "Discovery," has created a whole new opportunity for fans to see new versions of their favorites.

And of course, it's not just Kirk, or even different versions of Leonard Nimoy's Spock or Majel Barrett's Nurse Chapel. New iterations of "Star Trek," including whole different parallel timelines, have prompted writers, producers, and actors to go deep into the mythos of "Star Trek," unearthing characters that may not be household names, but are nonetheless remembered or even beloved by fans.

Enter Harcourt Fenton "Harry" Mudd, who first makes his appearance in Season 1 of the original series in the episode "Mudd's Women." Played by the late Roger C. Carmel, he is an amoral intergalactic con man and criminal. Despite being taken into Kirk's custody at the end of "Mudd's Women," he appears again as the villain in Season 2, Episode 8, "I, Mudd."

Carmel passed away in 1986 at the relatively young age of 54. But there are other actors who are sure that playing Harry Mudd would be a lot of fun. One of them is Greg Grunberg, who played Matt Parkman in "Heroes," Snap Wexley in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," and is a lifelong friend to J.J. Abrams.

'I would absolutely love to play Mudd'

In a 2009 interview on TrekMovie.com with Greg Grunberg, interviewer Anthony Pascale raised the topic of Grunberg's brief voice cameo over a communications radio in the first Kelvin "Star Trek" movie, asking whether he had ever considered playing Harcourt Fenton Mudd.

"You are not the first to bring that up," replied Grunberg. "I would absolutely love to play Harry Mudd, that would be incredible." Grunberg also said that he would love the opportunity to not just play Mudd, but to redefine the character. This was not long after the first Kelvin timeline film had hit the theaters.

And while the sleazy con man has yet to make an appearance in the Kelvin timeline, he has indeed recently reemerged in the prime "Star Trek" timeline. The first season of "Star Trek: Discovery" sees Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) sharing a Klingon prison cell with one Harcourt Fenton Mudd, this time memorably played by Rainn Wilson. "Discovery" is now taking place about 900 years in the future of "Star Trek" prime, and while as far as we know the crew of Discovery did not inadvertently bring Mudd with them, there is still room for Wilson's Mudd to make an appearance in "Strange New Worlds" — though at this point, no plans have been announced.

Wilson-Mudd's emergence doesn't necessarily nix Grunberg's hopes to play the space huckster. After all, most of his own connections to "Star Trek" are through Kelvin, a whole other timeline and whole other parallel universe where Zachary Quinto is Spock instead of Ethan Peck, and Zoe Saldana is Uhura instead of Celia Rose Gooding. With a fourth Kelvin movie reportedly in the works, now would be the time for him to plant a bug in Abrams' ear.