Original Solid Snake Voice Actor: "I've Got no Love For Kojima"

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Original Solid Snake Voice Actor: "I've Got no Love For Kojima"

Solid Snake

David Hayter, the original voice of Metal Gear Solid's Solid Snake, says Kojima had been trying to replace him for a long time.

A narrative has arisen concerning Hideo Kojima these days, painting him as the struggling artist hero, being kept down by the evil Konami corporation. But according to some of the people who have worked with the man, perhaps he is not so deserving of being the golden child of video game developers. "I've got no particular love for Kojima," said David Hayter, the original voice of Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid on a recent episode of the Game Informer show.

Fans will know that Hayter, who had been the longstanding voice of Snake, was unceremoniously replaced for the series' latest installment: Metal Gear Solid 5, in favor of Hollywood big shot Keifer Sutherland (of 24 fame).

But Hayter explains that Kojima had been trying to replace Hayter ever since Metal Gear Solid 3, when he approached Kurt Russell (who's Snake Plissken character in Escape From New York is the inspiration for Metal Gear's Solid Snake). Russell turned the role down, and Kojima was "stuck" with Hayter.

When asked if he would ever work with Kojima again, Hayter said "I don't feel any need to go back and work with him again."

To top it off, the poor guy revealed that he just can't bring himself to play MGS5. "Yeah. That'll be 60 hours of humiliation that I can't get to."

Source: Destructoid

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Eh, as much as I liked Hayter's performance, I don't think that there is necessarily anything wrong with Kojima replacing him. Maybe there would have been less of a stink about it if he had managed to do so as early as MGS3. It is a damn shame, though.

Yeah, I heard about this on another site.

Sucks for Hayter, really sounds like he loved his character.

By 3, the performance of Hayter combined with the character of Snake already was iconic. I find it pretty stupid that all the protagonist-Snakes have pretty much the same voice. And no, this is not covered by the story. It, even though there is a certain pseudo-reason, it doesn't make that much sense still. Because it's not a fact that this happens then.

Anyway, I know that Kojima had different people in mind when creating Snake. But it was not just one installment. And being such a big movie-lover, Kojima should know that continuity is key. Sutherland impersonated the voice pretty good in 5 in my opinion. In the 15 lines or so he had.

Don't know. I find this pretty disrespectful for the actor, the fans and the character. Big Boss having a different voice would be fine, and yes that would be 3. But do you really think Solid Snake of 4 would then have had Hayter back? And why has Big Boss in 5 a different voice?

And before someone comes with plot-twists: It already was that case in Ground Zeroes.

Mahorfeus:
Eh, as much as I liked Hayter's performance, I don't think that there is necessarily anything wrong with Kojima replacing him.

Technically, no. But changing voice actor is not the same as, say, changing your lead texture artist. If you change the character's voice, you change the character. Without having an in-universe explanation, that is a bad thing.


Besides, it sounds like there's more to this than just a casting change. I smell drama.

Naldan:
By 3, the performance of Hayter combined with the character of Snake already was iconic. I find it pretty stupid that all the protagonist-Snakes have pretty much the same voice. And no, this is not covered by the story.

Yes it is.

Well Kojima's never gonna work on another Metal Gear game anyways, so if he was the one who wanted Hayter replaced, then maybe this means on the off-chance that Konami ever makes another Metal Gear game, Snake will be voiced by Hayter again.

That's weird. This isn't an article about Akio Ōtsuka.
Yeah, I'm a snob. Shoot me.

He's whining like a bitch about it and I've been waiting to yell on the internet about it.


I mean, BB wasn't played by Hayter in 4. "I have no love for the man who created the roll I worked on and the games I starred in" sounds like a tantrum to me.
"But IIII wanna play Big Boss! He's my character!" His voice may be iconic, but it certainly wasn't GOOD. Now that bit is my opinion, but I never really liked the silliness factor besides the gags. The VA performance of most of the Metal Gear games is campy, even when it shouldn't be.

This is coming from someone who loves 3 and TPP to death, I even have a Diamond Dogs patch on my jacket shoulder.

I can see both sides.

As a game developer, I would want the best people available to perform my characters. If an actor didn't impress me then I'd want them gone as soon as possible.

As an actor, though, it would be really embarrassing to know that the big boss (tee hee) wanted me gone. I feel really bad for him.

Kiefer was better.

Objectable:
That's weird. This isn't an article about Akio Ōtsuka.
Yeah, I'm a snob. Shoot me.

Give this man a can of coke before you shoot him.

Well it sucks to be working away like that knowing your boss was hanging a sword over your head the whole time..

But in the end, Hayter's gonna Hayt.

MC1980:
Kiefer was better.

Objectable:
That's weird. This isn't an article about Akio Ōtsuka.
Yeah, I'm a snob. Shoot me.

Give this man a can of coke before you shoot him.

ehhh. Kiefer was only better because of the "you're all diamonds" scene. It's the only part where his acting background helped sell a scene. For the rest of the game, its pretty forgettable that Kiefer is even there, he barely talks.

David, don't Hayter for that

Kojima was quite insane for a while now so it's not a surprise

Corey Schaff:
Well Kojima's never gonna work on another Metal Gear game anyways, so if he was the one who wanted Hayter replaced, then maybe this means on the off-chance that Konami ever makes another Metal Gear game, Snake will be voiced by Hayter again.

It does, however, reduce my chances of seeing Hayter voice plasma Serpent in the new Diamond Cog Plasma game.

...I mean, I'm not even a fan of the series. I'd probably still throw money at them if they did that.

I wouldn't paint Kojima bad for trying to replace David Hayter with Kurt Russell. That's like a compliment. It's not good for him, but it shows that he was highly-valued in the sense of wanting to replace him with a top-billed actor.

On the one hand, I can get behind Hayter. He basically is Solid Snake in the english dub, having at least some credit in forming the character as Kojima and having him replaced as Snake would have been just wrong.

But on the other hand - he's Solid Snake (and Naked Snake, as he is basically the 'template' for Solid Snake), but he's not Big Boss. That's why I was fine with him getting replaced in MGS5. It just created a bit of a consistency error as he got replaced in Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain, but still did the voice in Peace Maker. If he would also have done Ground Zeroes and not Phantom Pain onwards or from Peace Maker onwards, it would have been a bit less jarring in term so consistency.

Kojima was super into the Hollywood aesthetic, it makes total sense that he would want to get a Hollywood actor to voice Snake.

As far as this saying anything bigger about Kojima, well I tend to find that people are rarely so good, or so bad, as they are portrayed in people's stories about them.

It's not as if that was Hayter's only job, he is a VA, they do a million different voices/jobs.

I doubt he would have been in any kind of financial difficulties having lost the job. The reasons he is bitter are almost entirely selfish, he didn't want anyone else to voice the character, his career certainly hasn't been affected.

He has to think realistically though, when he was first brought on MGS wasn't as big as it was, it didn't have the same budget it has today, and surely he knew that Kojima has a real love for movies. He was replaced by a big name star, he wasn't just shuffled out for another random VA.

EHKOS:
He's whining like a bitch about it and I've been waiting to yell on the internet about it.


I mean, BB wasn't played by Hayter in 4. "I have no love for the man who created the roll I worked on and the games I starred in" sounds like a tantrum to me.
"But IIII wanna play Big Boss! He's my character!" His voice may be iconic, but it certainly wasn't GOOD. Now that bit is my opinion, but I never really liked the silliness factor besides the gags. The VA performance of most of the Metal Gear games is campy, even when it shouldn't be.

This is coming from someone who loves 3 and TPP to death, I even have a Diamond Dogs patch on my jacket shoulder.

Well Mr. Hayter, you can take solace in the fact that MGS5 has the flatest most boring character depictions of the series.

And Kiefer couldn't hold a candle to you. Maybe if it was 80's Kiefer, and not uninvested grumble man.

Hayter not being in MGS5 is the reason I don't have it/them.

How does this fault Kojima in any way? Wanting a different voice actor for your game isn't wrong at all.

I actually do think Hayter would have been the much better choice myself, but that's just a totally personal opinion. It doesn't lower my opinion of Kojima at all, or his supposed status as "the golden child of video game developers".

I don't see the problem. If Kojima wants to take the thing he created in a different direction, that's his prerogative. Personally, I would have loved to hear Kurt Russell voice Snake, given the EFNY connection, and honestly, I never thought Hayter was that great a VA to begin with. There's pretending to be a cheesy 80's action hero, and then there's doing such a good job at acting cheesy that you just come off as a cheesy hack.

Steven Bogos:

But Hayter explains that Kojima had been trying to replace Hayter ever since Metal Gear Solid 3, when he approached Kurt Russel (who's Snake Plissken character in Escape From New York is the inspiration for Metal Gear's Solid Snake). Russel turned the role down, and Kojima was "stuck" with Hayter.

But that actually makes sense. Wouldn't YOU want the man who is basically the father of your main series character to be voiced by the man who inspired him in the first place? Who wouldn't want Russel?

Objectable:
That's weird. This isn't an article about Akio Ōtsuka.
Yeah, I'm a snob. Shoot me.

Never understood the Sutherland thing. Hayter's voice was Snake for the largest sect of the Western audience. I'd like to see how much Hayter would have earned with the gig compared to Sutherland's cut. I can't imagine Sutherland would be cheaper, or as experienced with VO, so that raises additional questions as to the move they took.

I'll chalk it up to Kojima being Kojima. Nobody's perfect, and everyone is an arsehole in some way. On another note, I have the inverse problem. I wouldn't play any game I VO'd for .... because I'd be like;

Me: "Does that sound right? I feel like I could have done better... What do you think?"

Random person: "For the 18th time, I don't know. I don't care. Can we just play the game, please?"

It would destroy my confidence to listen to it. Better to just assume I did awesome, and not hear myself to question the belief of awesomeness.

So is this suppose to make us hate toward Kojima? Sorry but my hate is directed more toward Konami

Well lucky for him, the replacement didn't last for many mgs iterations.
I don't consider whatever ways konami desecrates metal gear solids corpse after this to be an entry of the franchise.

As for kojima wanting to get rid of the voice of snake, that's crazy and I expect nothing less from whoever dreamt the plot of the metal gear games up.

EHKOS:
"But IIII wanna play Big Boss! He's my character!" His voice may be iconic, but it certainly wasn't GOOD. Now that bit is my opinion, but I never really liked the silliness factor besides the gags. The VA performance of most of the Metal Gear games is campy, even when it shouldn't be.

You should blame Kojima for it, not Hayter. Like it or not, the campy is part of his writing style, and the Japanese version is not less campy.

OT: I didn't hate Sutherland's performance in Ground Zero, but it was somehow a little distracting that it sounded nothing like Snake. It also helped that he has maybe 10 lines if you don't count side missions and collectibles. If that amount was distracting, I can't imagine it in 5.

I've heard Akio Ōtsuka as snake. I think he's shit. I've heard a lot of Japanese people play MGS with the english dub, with most characters being western it makes sense. So there's probably more to why Kojima got rid of Hayter than simply, Hayters performance not fitting his vision.

I respect kojima as a creator and I'm a fan of his. But his treatment of Hayter and even the fans here has been really bad. I know this mistreatment hasn't dissuaded Hayter from voice acting and I have a lot of respect for him as a professional. It's just a shame MGS V was a great stealth game but not a good metal gear game.

To all the people saying Hayter is a bad voice actor HOW IS HE BAD!? I mean what do you expect from a voice actor? he was able to display a decent and full range of emotions with Snake. If your main complaint is that his voice was silly , have you even played metal gear it is a rather stupid series (in the best possible way).

verdant monkai:

If your main complaint is that his voice was silly , have you even played metal gear it is a rather stupid series (in the best possible way).

Pretty much this. I think the hammyness is actually important to making the universe of MGS work. MGS5 has no hammyness at all and it kind of makes it feel a bit flat, because the villainous plot is mental and silly as all hell. MGS5 is so dour and broodingly serious that the silly elements(The parasites, Skullface(whos apparently the only guy who knows he's IN a MGS game), Sahelanthropus, Quiet in general and Psycho Mantis etc) silliness are magnified tenfold and feel out of place, they stick out rather than blend in.

At least if everyone is chewing the scenery, you can get into the groove of having cyborg ninja assassins, Fission Mailed, Raiden wondering around bollock naked, Snake laughing about his Bandanna giving him infinite ammo, or having the 4th wall beat you over the head by psychically moving your controller.

Kojima to me seems like an idiot who wanted to be a film maker but he got stuck making video games instead. Kind of like David Cage, only less pretentious because he's actually a genius programmer with a real vision. That vision of his is a problem because he doesn't seem to have an ounce of understanding of his fans and the things that make people love MGS so much. A large part of what makes a video game character iconic is his voice. He's an idiot for failing to understand that.
That being said, I didn't have a problem with Sutherland's performance, when he was allowed to talk. But I still would have liked to hear Hayter instead, at least when the real Big Boss showed up.

What's funny Kojima never ONCE tried to replace Akio Ohtsuka during the entirety of MGS for the Japanese language track. Furthermore, his constant attempts to replace Hayter really show how insecure and desperate for attention Kojima is (as well as presumptuous, thinking he could get a guy like Kurt Russell). I suppose Kojima got what he wanted, but unfortunately what emerged was a sub-par performance from Kiefer Sutherland clearly phoning it in (and considering how bad MGS V's script is I can't blame him) so it was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

elvor0:

MGS5 is so dour and broodingly serious that the silly elements(The parasites, Skullface(whos apparently the only guy who knows he's IN a MGS game), Sahelanthropus, Quiet in general and Psycho Mantis silliness are magnified tenfold and feel out of place.

I have to agree MGS V took it self too seriously and in doing do forgot what made it a beloved franchise. The sad thing is I think it could've been salvaged so easily. If it had actually had more than 2 boss fights (that weren't just skull encounters), the ability to go into the interior of mother base and see/talk to miller and the other soldiers. I don't mourn the loss of the codec as much as others as there was still loads of dialogue.

If I could say one thing about the phantom pain's voice acting it would be that Robin Downes, was easily the best voice actor in the whole damn game, the guy was flawless far superior to Kiefer. Whenever Kiefer spoke (and it wasn't often) I just kept thinking, you could have built a better game with the money you spent hiring this Hollywood B Lister. I don't know why they didn't hire Hayter, Venom Snake only needed about 1 weeks worth of voice acting, and thats if you redo most of the lines. As for the facial capture I hardly saw Snakes face move. He mostly just looks pissed off, you don't need Kiefer Sutherland for the range of emotion venom snake shows.

All this over a character that has what, 20 lines of dialogue in the game?

I never thought he was a very good voice actor honestly but Kojima has always been overrated too. I like a lot of his characters but he is horrible when it comes to dialogue, most of the humor, and parts of the story. He'd probably be good if he had a decent editor but without one his games are painful(MGS4).

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