Thief studio explains change of Garrett voice actor

Wednesday, 3rd April 2013 11:35 GMT By Dave Cook

Thief studio Eidos Montreal has explained why original Garrett voice actor Stephen Russell is not returning to voice the character in the next-gen reboot.

Speaking in an interview on the studio’s community site, narrative director Steven Gallagher and audio director Jean-Christophe Verbert discussed the issue.

Gallagher explained, “Stephen was considered quite heavily. We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact.”

But Verbert added, “Yes, it was actually very early during development at that time that we had him involved, before we made the decision to record our actor’s voices and their movement at the same time using a full performance capture technique.

“Being able to capture the voice at the same time as the actors’ movements and facial expressions, all while the actors play off each other, delivers a much more convincing experience than traditional techniques of recording each characters’ dialogue separately and then animating everything by hand afterwards.”

The decision to use full performance capture meant that whoever voiced Garrett would also have to do all of their own stunts. The team also felt there was a disconnect between ‘new’-Garrett’s appearance and Russell’s voice. Simply pasting Russell’s lines over the character wouldn’t have felt natural they explained.

So there you have it, a new Garrett in more ways than one. Another iconic stealth character also lost his voice recently – Solid Snake. David Hayter recently issued a statement on not being asked to return to voice the character in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Read what he had to say here.

Thanks Eurogamer.



  1. TheBlackHole

    Fair enough. That makes sense to me.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. UuBuU

    I don’t understand?

    Thief is supposed to be in first-person, so why is it so important to have the person playing Garrett perform actions as well as the voice.

    I sure as hell hope they aren’t planning to bog this game down with constant third-person cutscenes and finisher moves because that would be a dealbreaker ~ and it seems silly to replace the original voice actor just for a bit of action in the promotional stuff like trailers.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Beta

    Thief, MGS, Splinter Cell. What is going on with stealth games firing the lead actors at the moment?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. TheBlackHole


    The actors are over a decade older than when they first took the roles and so their voices have changed and no longer fit the style/direction of the character.

    But that’s obvious, right?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Lengendaryboss

    @4 Doesn’t it make them more reliable and iconic from the fans perspective?
    @7 See?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Beta

    I’d have to agree with @5

    #6 2 years ago
  7. karma

    NOOOOooooooOOOOOO! Seriously? They cant! I wont allow it. Only Stephen Russell can be Garrett. No one else is acceptable.

    Seriously though the guy brought so much character to Garrett that it would be a crime of the greatest proportions to go with a different voice actor, no matter how good they are.
    All I can say is, as a mega Thief 1 and 2 fan, and a “it was decent” Thief: DS fan, I say screw this game. Why even bother pretending this is going to be anything other than a cash in on the brand name, that will be watered down for the masses and feel nothing even remotely like the original classics.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. YoungZer0

    I don’t think they need a big reason for this decision. After all this is a reboot.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. TheWulf

    I read this and it’s impossible to read it as anything as: “The voice actor was an old fart. We don’t want old farts, we want fresh, young talent for our youth-obsessed audience.

    And that makes me more than a little sad.

    No old characters, no overweight characters, rarely ever any disabled characters (and never as the lead), rarely any female/black characters. I mean, honestly, if I were a black lady then who would my representative character be? All I’d have would be games that allow for customisation, and even those have only very typically white voice actors.

    And then there’s how the industry feels it has to tread on eggshells around sexuality, because introducing a gay person means that the developer is working with Satan or whatever the current horseshit is.

    Don’t even get me started on how we can’t explore alien/non-human species and cultures any more because they’re not familiar/relatable enough.

    Are we really that fucking despicably xenophobic and shallow?

    The mainstream does nothing but irritate me of late. Honestly, have we ever had a black lady as the lead? In anything? Ever? There was a Jimquisition lately about how publishers tell developers that even white women as leads is a no-go. But the rabbit hole goes so much deeper.

    It’s like… if it isn’t white and male and young, we hate it. And we can’t have women because apparently that would be gay.

    It’s almost Aryan levels of terrifying.

    Does no one else see this?

    Part of the reason it bugs me so much is because around the ’90s, it wasn’t actually that bad. We had old guys, we had black people, and so on. Sure, we didn’t explore sexuality much, but we don’t do that now, either (aside from a few utterly token instances). So… why are we going backwards?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Gheritt White

    @9: Mitigation of risk, that’s why. When budgets are small, it doesn’t matter so much if you don’t get the widest audience possible. When you’re shooting for 5M+ sales, you have to appeal to the mainstream.

    That’s why only the indies take real risks these days.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Tavarish

    @4 What about long time fans of series who really would love that more older and experienced feel to Garrett? Voice is one part of that experience.

    Whole “We need to have voice actor that can do bunnyhopping and t-bagging while reading his lines” -statement just stinks and comes over as “Garrett’s original voice actor was too old for us, we didn’t like him and so we came up with this bullshit statement to justify this new 16 years old actor.”

    #11 2 years ago
  12. apollyonbob

    I understand the justification, but why keep the character?

    These sorts of universes feel so much richer when older characters are still around.

    You could have an older Garett, still badass but not super nimble, and the game could be a passing of the torch! Garrett could be the new Thief’s mentor.

    God that’d be awesome.

    Too bad they’re so obsessed with “brand” they forget what the hell makes the brand interesting to begin with. People will buy this game completely 100% based on the gameplay. Nobody’s going to be like “Oh man, Garrett! That’s GARRETT!” especially since, without Stephen Russel, it aint, really.

    I just don’t get who makes these decisions. Why does it always seem like people with terrible ideas somehow make it into positions of decision making in game companies? Peter principle I guess.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. fearmonkey

    @12 – Everything I was going to say you already said. I am in total agreement with you and Thewulf.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Vice

    Ughh.. Ok all interest lost now.

    #14 2 years ago

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