David Hayter has passed on the mantle of voicing the central character in the “Metal Gear” franchise, Solid Snake, to a new actor, though he doesn’t seem especially happy about it. Konami announced at a pre-E3 event that “24’s” Kiefer Sutherland will voice the character in the upcoming video game “Metal Gear Rising V: The Phantom Pain.”
“It’s an honor to be able to play this character,” Sutherland says. “This character has an unbelievable legacy. There’s a real personal quality to the character that I’ve connected to. I’m not a gamer, and I even knew about this game. I was certainly keenly aware of the legacy of these games, the unbelievable success of these games.”
Hayter, who is also known for being the screenwriter of movies like “X-Men,” “X2” and “Watchmen,” voiced Solid Snake ever since the “Metal Gear” franchise first premiered in 1998. He’s gone on to voice act in 12 different games in the franchise, the last one being 2010’s “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.”
During the Konami conference, “Metal Gear” creator Hideo Kojima explains of the change, “I wanted Snake to have a more subdued performance expressed through subtle facial movements and tone of voice rather than words. Furthermore, the game takes place in 1984 when Snake is 49 years old. Therefore, we needed someone who could genuinely convey both the facial and vocal qualities of a man in his late 40s. It’s different from anything we’ve done before.” It’s worth noting that Sutherland is only three years older than Hayter.
For his part, Hayter doesn’t seem pleased about being replaced in the “Metal Gear” role. All week he’s been making cryptic tweets about how he is “so excited for E3! I just hope I don’t lose my voice.” The day before Konami made its announcement, Hayter tweeted, “Uh oh, I think I feel laryngitis coming on …”
Following the actual announcement, Hayter posted, “Look, I tried to warn you … Ah well, Can’t fault @RealKiefer Great actor, good man. The game will probably still be excellent. Like New Coke! … To my beloved Tweeps, I can’t thank you enough for all your support. Getting fired was never so heartwarming. You all rock, DH.”
“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” does not yet have a release date.