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The Surprising Franchise Seth Rogen Wants To Join

Nowadays, it's entirely unsurprising for virtually any of the biggest names in the acting world to appear in tentpole franchise films. Angelina Jolie, for example, will officially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe upon the release of "Eternals." Actor/wrestler John Cena, meanwhile, appeared for the first time as part of DC's Extended Cinematic Universe in "Suicide Squad" as Peacemaker, who will soon become the focus of his own spinoff TV series. These are but two examples among many.

Because of the continued and significant successes of franchise films, the list of well-established actors not tethered to a major movie series seems to be getting smaller by the day. Seth Rogen happens to fall into that camp, having never appeared in a Marvel, DC, "Star Wars," or similarly massive movie universe. The closest Rogen has come to a bona fide franchise film role was as the voice of Pumbaa in the CG remake of "The Lion King." Barring any "Lion King" sequels, however, that role will likely remain a one-off rather than a part of a larger film canon.

Though Rogen's career may be absent involvement in any tentpole film franchises thus far, back in 2014 he revealed in an interview with MTV the one franchise he would be interested in joining — albeit in a very particular, not entirely serious capacity.

Seth Rogen as Watto?

Seth Rogen revealed his tongue-in-cheek dream franchise when MTV asked him whether or not he had met with J.J. Abrams about a role in the then-upcoming "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens." In response, Rogen told MTV that he was actively campaigning for the role of Watto, the junkyard owner and slaver introduced in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace."

Watto is, per the estimation of Rogen, MTV.com author Alex Zalben, and countless others, an anti-Semitic caricature. Rogen himself is Jewish, so his ironic championing of Watto is an attempt to reclaim a notable anti-Semitic pop cultural figure — and also just a fittingly absurd response, disconnected from any deeper implications. "So if you're reprising the anti-Semitic Jewish flying alien creature," Rogen told MTV, "please consider me."

Rogen's interviewer then invoked another culturally reviled, racially insensitive "Star Wars" character, suggesting that if Watto were to return to "Star Wars," Jar Jar Binks might as well. "Exactly," Rogen responded. "Bring back every derivative racial stereotype."

It's safe to say, then, that while Rogen appears not to have any serious aspirations of appearing in a "Star Wars" film — or any other major film franchise, for that matter — his involvement in one might hinge entirely on the chance to subvert audiences' expectations, as evidenced by his unexpected answer.