Alan Tudyk is a name most comic book, sci-fi and gaming fans know. They can point to the work he’s done, and after starring in cult shows like Firefly and Young Justice, Tudyk is ready to join the sci-fi series to rule them all: Star Wars.
In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Tudyk voices the new, passive-aggressive, overly sensitive and very sarcastic droid K-2SO. The droid was originally created for the Empire, but has somehow wound up in the Rebellion, fighting alongside Jyn Erso and Capt. Cassian Andor. Following the move over to the Rebels, K-2SO became a member of the team that was sent on a mission to retrieve the plans for the Death Star.
Although Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has explicitly said that the company doesn’t have any plans to make a sequel to Rogue One, Tudyk told Polygon that he hopes he’ll appear in another Star Wars movie down the line.
"When I say things at conventions or in interviews, I tend to read about them in the press later," Tudyk said when asked whether his character would appear in other Star Wars films. "I would like to see K-2SO in more movies. I sure as hell wouldn’t say no if they asked me.
"But you know how these things are. We aren’t told much, and we can tell you guys even less."
For Tudyk, being a part of the Star Wars franchise is, as cliched as it sounds, a dream come true. He’s always been an avid fan of genre films and television and, following the cult success of Firefly, has entrenched himself in the culture. The actor is no stranger to enthusiastic fandoms, but the Star Wars one doesn't seem to have reached him yet.
"I sure as hell wouldn’t say no if they asked me"
"It hasn’t affected my life in any way yet," Tudyk said. "I think once it comes out and people get a chance to see it — really see what a stand-alone Star Wars movie is — and get a feel for my character, things could change. I’ll be interested to see what the reaction is to all of it."
Last year’s blockbuster, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a financial success and scored well with critics, but there have been some concerns about the shape of the next Star Wars installment. Writers and cinematographers were reportedly brought in at the last minute to work on extensive reshoots for the project, and Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors that the studio wasn’t preparing for the film to be as big as The Force Awakens.
More recently, Kennedy told Entertainment Weekly that there was a lot riding on the success of Rogue One, including how Lucasfilm and Disney would approach future Star Wars Anthology films. If it and the young Han Solo movie set to be released in 2018 are huge successes, the studio may pursue more in the future. If they’re flops, however, or perform below the level Disney and Lucasfilm expect from a Star Wars movie, the studio may change its plans.
Tudyk said he doesn’t think about that, and as an actor with numerous projects going, he fortunately doesn’t have to worry about work. For example, Tudyk is currently getting ready for the premiere of the second season of his web series, Con Man. The show, an exaggerated, satirical take on his own experiences at comic conventions and on the people he’s met there, stars friends of Tudyk’s like Nathan Fillion and Nolan North. Tudyk said it was a project born out of love — being able to give back to the community that supported him for a large portion of his career was just a bonus.
"I’ve been going to conventions since 2003, when Firefly was canceled," Tudyk said. "I’ve gotten to know a lot of Firefly fans personally, and I know them as people instead of this idea of who they are that a lot of new con attendees sometimes have. The world that I love is where the comedy comes from in Con Man, and my character is an exaggeration of someone in that world."
The best part about working on Con Man, according to Tudyk, is being able to rope in a group of his closest friends whom he wants to continue working with. During our interview, Tudyk said that’s why he brought on Fillion and North, and when it came to the latter, Tudyk explained that the role he wrote for North’s character came from their time working on Uncharted 4: A Thief's End together.
It’s no secret that Tudyk grew frustrated with the state of things on Naughty Dog’s game following the departure of writer Amy Hennig, and Tudyk told Polygon that he was lucky enough to be in a place that when it got really hairy and irritating, he could leave without much consequence.
"I had a really cool role in Uncharted," Tudyk said. "But they did the whole changeover with the writer and the director in the middle of the project. My character became someone that wasn’t necessarily needed and, at the same time, I was getting very busy with other projects. Everything was getting redone anyway, so I was able to just kind of throw my hands up and walk away from the project, since everything was changing and I had other work."
"I had a really cool role in Uncharted"
The actor added that the best thing to come out of the Uncharted 4 fiasco was his friendship with North, who became instrumental in the making of Con Man. Tudyk explained that when he was writing North’s character, Jerry Lansing, he realized that it was during their time on Uncharted 4 that he was introduced to a similar character created by North. When the time came to cast it, North seemed like the perfect option.
"I remember asking him why he didn’t do more TV and film," Tudyk said. "He just rolled his eyes and said, ‘I don’t get those kinds of opportunities.’"
Between Con Man and Rogue One, Tudyk is a busy man, but there was one other role that Polygon was interested in. In 2013, Tudyk reprised his role as Pastor Veal in Arrested Development’s long-awaited fourth season. The show has been rumored to be coming back for a fifth season, with Netflix, creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast reportedly on board. If the fifth season does enter development and is eventually released on Netflix, would Tudyk be a part of it?
"I was happy they asked me to come back for the fourth season, and if the fifth does happen, I’m gladly on board," Tudyk said. "I will absolutely resurrect Pastor Veal."
For now, fans can stream Con Man on Comic-Con HQ — with the second season set to premiere on Dec. 8 — and catch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on Dec. 16.