Metal Gear Solid 5 Voice Director: My Heart Was Broken When David Hayter Was Replaced
“It did kind of broke my heart of not being able to work with David Hayter, ” says long time Metal Gear voice director Kris Zimmerman.
For those of you who are unaware, Kris Zimmerman is the voice director of not only Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain but also every other Metal Gear game, since the series made its transition into the 3D digital era back in 1998. In short, she knows the story, the characters and the intricate details of the Metal Gear saga better than anyone else.
Back in 2013, Hideo Kojima made the decision to replace long time voice actor of Snake, David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland. This move was met with backlash from some fans who till date don’t appreciate how Kojima and Konami handled Hayter’s removal. This also resulted into fan theories that Hayter will be making a comeback as Solid Snake in The Phantom Pain. Well, that did not happened.
Zimmerman was recently interviewed by Fragged Nation and she was asked about her role in replacing Hayter. Turns out, she had no such role to play and it was a decision take by Kojima himself. In fact she mentioned numerous that she was a bit sad by Hayter’s removal, despite Sutherland’s commendable work in the game.
“I am a hired hand. I present them with the people for the roles that they have auditioned for. I presented them with my 20 people almost twenty years ago. I had nothing to do with the process of deciding which celebrity they will use. It was all Mr. Kojima’s desires. Those were his choices and ye, it kind of broke my heart. It did kind of broke my heart of not being able to work with David Hayter. Given the fact that I still had a job to do and I still had a character to maintain, I really think Kiefer did a great job.”
“He was delightful to work with. We were limited in his time as far as his other commitment goes. When he was there, he was one hundred percent there. He loved it. He said that in interviews before and he is a really fine actor. And he did put his heart into it and it wasn’t like he just did it and did not cared about it. He cared about it a lot. He really wanted to be good and I think we got that.”
“But it still breaks my heart a little bit that it wasn’t David,” she stated.
“This was Kojima’s vision. He wanted it [the game] to be a little grounded. He wanted to get away from that tongue in cheek stuff that was happening before which I so adored.”
In my opinion, Hayter’s removal as Snake made no sense given that the character barely had any lines. Snake spoke very little and despite Sutherland’s remarkable voice acting and facial emotions capability, I can’t help but feel that Kojima only wanted to attach some Hollywood name with the game. But does it really matter? After all [spoiler]…we were actually not playing as Big Boss/Snake at all. In that way, Hayter remains the one and true Big Boss despite Sutherland voicing the real Big Boss for few lines. The game’s story was a mess anyway [end spoiler]. Despite the underwhelming plot, The Phantom Pain is one of the major contenders for the Game of the Year.
Hopefully, Konami acts with a bit of sense in the future. Bring back David Hayter and make sure the series returns to its roots in the inevitable Metal Gear Solid 6.