David Hayter, who voiced Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series up until 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, discusses being replaced for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
The Metal Gear Solid series is one of the most iconic in video game history, with the stealth franchise becoming one of the most beloved properties from the nineties onwards. Game director Hideo Kojima is far from for the only constant in the series, however, with acclaimed voice actor David Hayter voicing the franchise’s lead characters up to 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Now, Hayter has opened up about his experiences with the franchise – particularly regarding his departure from the Metal Gear Solid cast.
Speaking with Game Informer in a recent podcast, Hayter discussed how and why he left the series. The voice actor was not included in the cast of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and it turns out that the news was not exactly brought to his attention directly. Initially running into a producer in a recording studio, Hayter apparently requested a discussion over a deal on the title, but was then told that he was not going to be needed.
Hayter then spoke with Kris Zimmerman, the Metal Gear series’ English casting and voice director. Zimmerman told Hayter that the developer was “going to try and replace” him for the then-upcoming project. Eventually, this led to Kiefer Sutherland being given the role of Snake in the 2015 release.
As it turns out, this is far from the only time that the Metal Gear team had tried to replace Hayter. The voice actor was asked to re-audition to play Snake multiple times, with Hideo Kojima apparently asking one of the Metal Gear Solid 3 producers to contact Kurt Russell to see if the action star would be interested in voicing Snake for upcoming projects. Eventually, however, Hayter’s time on the series had come to an end.
Although Hayter is happy about his “amazing” run with the franchise, he admits that his departure “could have been handled better and a little more respectfully.” Although the biggest news regarding the most recent Metal Gear Solid game was the disintegration of Kojima’s relationship with Konami, it seems as though that is far from the only bridge that has been burned. In fact, Hayter is so annoyed by his experiences that he cannot bring himself to even play Metal Gear Solid 5, explaining that it would be “60 hours of humiliation” for him.
As a result, those hoping for some kind of Metal Gear Solid reunion are going to be waiting a long time. Kojima may be putting together a new game, and maintaining a strong relationship with Silent Hills team members Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus, but Hayter is unlikely to want any part in a future Kojima project, explaining that he does not “feel any need” to work with the director again. Unfortunately, it seems as though there’s been far from a happy end for this once stellar team.
Source: Game Informer