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Kiefer Sutherland To Play Snake in MGS V

David Hayter is out. Or is he??

Konami held their big “Pre-E3” presentation today, but considering all of the buzz around new consoles, the company didn’t have much to show. Besides showcasing how the new Fox Engine is implemented in the PES soccer franchise and an extended look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the big news came from Hideo Kojima, who announced that Kiefer Sutherland (24, The Lost Boys) would be playing Snake in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Kojima says that MGS V will be going into darker territory than his games have in the past, and he wanted Snake to convey this darkness with a more subdued tone that relies heavily on his facial expression. He went on to say that this game takes place in 1984, and this version of Snake—the one who goes on to become Big Boss—is 49 at this point. Kojima wanted an actor that could bring the experience of a man in his late 40s to the role.

It was the well-known film producer Avi Arad that suggested Sutherland for the role, and it was a perfect fit in the eyes of the Metal Gear director. Arad is best known for producing many of the Marvel films, including the X-Men and Spider-Man movies. He’s also the producer for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie, which was announced at the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary event, where Ground Zeroes (a prologue to MGS V) was revealed.  Kiefer Sutherland—who has already done voice work for games like Call of Duty—says he was very aware of the Metal Gear legacy and seems very excited to play the fan favorite character.

But is that the whole story? Hideo Kojima loves to keep people guessing, as he did when The Phantom Pain was teased at the Spike TV Video Game Awards. At the time, the game was slated to be released by an unknown developer, and the name “Metal Gear” was not attached to it. Kojima went as far as to construct a fictional studio head, Joakim Mogren (an anagram of Kojima’s name) who had an “interview” with Game Trailer’s Geoff Keighley.

Of course, it was later revealed that the game was indeed Metal Gear Solid V, and the mysterious nature of the teaser and Joakim was another way for Hideo Kojima to play with his audience. There have been a number of odd things surrounding the shift from David Hayter to Kiefer Sutherland, and most of these have come from Hayter himself. His first official statement about not being called to reprise the role he’s held since 1998 was issued on April 1st, which seemed almost too perfect.  On May 13, he tweeted about being excited for E3, and made a sly comment about hoping that he doesn’t lose his voice. In his reaction to today’s announcement he said that he thinks the game will probably still be excellent, like New Coke. For you kids out there, New Coke was a change to the Coca Cola formula in the early ‘80s that was almost universally hated.

It goes deeper than that, however. If you look closely at the reveal video for Sutherland voicing Snake, he’s never shown in a recording booth. While it’s true that he’s shown with motion capture dots applied to his face and a model of Snake mimicking his movements, the character never speaks with Sutherland’s voice. Also odd is the fact that Sutherland is wearing the same shirt in every shot of the video. Is it possible that he was just brought into the studio one day to make this video? Could he actually be playing a different character?

Another possibility could be that the “Big Boss” version of Snake could be meeting up with a young Solid Snake in this game. The timeline is moving ever closer to 1995, the year that the original MSX Metal Gear game takes place, so it could very well be that both Sutherland and Hayter are playing Snake, albeit different versions of him.

What do you think? Is this another clever ruse by the Metal Gear creator to keep everyone guessing? Or does Snake actually have a new voice? If so, what do you think of Kiefer Sutherland playing this beloved character? Whatever side of this you fall on, expect some surprises from Kojima Productions at E3 next week.





06/07/2013 at 12:57 AM

Also, Kiefer was credited with playing Ishmael in the Phantom Pain trailer on IMDB. Plus, it should be noted that the Japanese voice actor who plays Snake is not being replaced. I tell ya, Kojima is the master of Troll Masters. I don't think DH will be replaced because he's a big reason why the series is so iconic. =D

Patrick Kijek Contributing Writer

06/07/2013 at 03:09 AM

If you are right -- and you very well might be -- this might go down as the single biggest call in video game history. I'm hoping that you're right, even though I like Sutherland in most things (except 24, because I boycotted it for no reason).


06/07/2013 at 09:42 AM

Sutherland does have a very cool voice. I remember the first time I heard Max Payne speaking I thought it was him. He could pull off the voice of Snake easily and with style. I still think the wool is being pulled over our eyes on this one. Kojima is such a prankster!


06/07/2013 at 09:50 AM

I feel like it is Kojima's job to try and take us all for fools.  I think that his schemes have become more and more convoluted, unlike his very straightforward games... 

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

06/07/2013 at 10:14 AM

Hah good one at the end. Right MGS4? Right.


06/08/2013 at 01:30 AM

I have thought his twitter responses have been a little too thought out. Can't say Metal Gear news isn't fun to watch

Julian Titus Senior Editor

06/08/2013 at 01:05 PM

My stance on this is that the fabled "zero explosions" trailer Kojima is talking about will end with Hayter's voice. If Sutherland is actually in this game he's either playing a different version of Snake or someone totally different. But that announcement video has too many little oddities that make me cry "hoax".

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