It seems David Hayter isn’t in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain after all

Tuesday, 24th June 2014 10:30 GMT By Dave Cook

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain director Hideo Kojima decided to ditch the long-standing voice of Snake David Hayter in favour of Keifer Sutherland. Since then, games have asked Hayter if he’s really just playing innocent with a sly nudge and a wink. Turns out he’s probably not in it.

metal gear

It follows last week’s Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain livestream, during which Kojima’s team played the game live on PS4. We’ve got all the images, details and footage from the stream here.

Hayter shot down the dreams of eager fans on Twitter yesterday:

Last year, Kojima was asked pretty blunt questions as to why Hayter was replaced, and he seemed to dodge them quite deftly.

He said, “At this time it has been rather difficult because with Keifer we’re doing facial capture and voice capture, and the recording has been rather difficult. This is because we already have the motion capture from another actor and into that we’re putting the facial acting and the voice acting. So he has to make all these facial changes and motion without moving and we’ve been handing Keifer quite a challenging task.”

Doesn’t really explain why Keifer was drafted in though, does it?

Via DualShockers.



  1. Gekidami

    Considering the games more serious tone, i get why they changed, Hayter did tend to sound like a cartoon character in the other games. But the thing is, in Ground Zeroes Kiefer barely ever says anything, same goes for all of the trailers till now, none seem to have Big Boss speaking in them and Snake has never been a mute character, he’s always been very talkative.

    So it really does look like Kiefer is lazily phoning it in, Kojima wanted him but he wasnt all that available so he shows up to record a few lines then goes back to filming 24. Its lame that he isnt even acting either, recording the facial animations seem pointless when the character doesnt look anything like him. Naughty Dog have their voice actors act the scenes then “hand craft” the faces, seems to me Kiefer was probably asking for too much to actually do anything other than sit in front of a mic & camera and talk.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Legendaryboss

    I still don’t buy it, because he said Metal Gear V, so there’s still hope. Kojima must be trolling. Sutherland must be costing too much if Venom Snake only has a few lines here and there.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Erthazus

    Yes. He is not in Metal Gear V.

    But he is in Metal Gear Solid V.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Tormenter

    A big name lends more recognition for sales to an unfamiliar market than that of someone, however talaented, who is only known by existing players, and it’s obvious that the MGS (I always immediately think of MSG…) has changed market , or at least is aiming it.

    However I will state, this is exactly the kind of thing that really pisses me off and ruins a franchise for me (not that I played, or was ever bothered about this one bit it’s happened exactly the same way for the same reasons in others that I have enjoyed). When things about the game, the details that make it special to those who love them, are changed for the sake of a different market.. it’s simply disregard and massive ‘FUCK YOU’ to the fans/customers who have gotten it to the stage of being exploit worthy in the first place and who get completely marginalised because “captive market, they’ll buy it anyway”…. not to mention the smaller actors who live off gigs like this get shafted in favour of bigger names who have a larger market share in the first place.

    I hate it when greed interfers with design because it’s always so damned obvious and cynical.

    Just…. “FUCK!!!”…. You know?

    #4 6 months ago
  5. polygem

    hayters gonna hayte

    #5 6 months ago
  6. Johnnymaxx

    Kojima already explained why Hayter is not in this a few times in the past. He doesn’t feel that Hayter is a very good actor. However, good manners don’t let him just say that out loud, so what he had said near the launching of Ground Zeroes, in different interviews, was something in the line of: “Now with the power that new consoles have, we can capture facial expressions like never before, so therefore we decided to go with Kiefer Sutherland for his expressions better ressemble the older, more serious Big Boss we want in the game.”

    You can double check it, google some kojima interviews near the launching of Ground Zeroes and you will see he said it.

    So, got it? He, or the team, they don’t feel like David Hayter could express emotions in a believeble way, so they cut him out of the game. But he is a polite man. How would you feel if you had worked with a team for the past… 15 year or something, and then suddenly you are cut out and your “former boss” go public and say “yeah… that guy was never really good at his job… we could use him before because we could only hear his voice, but he looks weird and doesn’t show any emotion through his facial expressions… so yeah, we cut him out.”. Simple like that. Get over it guys, everyone that keeps complaining about this is sounding like “hayters” now!!! :)

    #6 6 months ago
  7. Armitage Shanks

    I still reckon Hayter may appear in a post credit scene as Solid Snake,and if not no big deal.I never thought it was a good idea that they had him voice two separate characters,he is Snake not BB.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. Dimaco

    @ Erthazus: ;-)

    #8 6 months ago
  9. Clupula

    I’m still convinced the post-credits audio scene (since the Metal Gear Solid games ALWAYS have them) will be the first codec call in MG1, with David Hayter doing the voice of Snake and Keifer as Big Boss.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. BrokenSpline

    Kiefer is an absolutely horrible choice and having him as big boss was a reason I didn’t enjoy the game especially when he “phones” it in like Gekidami says. It felt like an intern saying a few lines.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Dragon

    Just curious, would Hayter have been a good option for motion capture? Kojima gave a dodgy answer regarding that in the link above, that does not seem something that would a reason to remove Hayter.
    Would be good if we can get the real reason someday.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. TheWulf

    A lot of it is to do with how the game wants you to take it oh so very seriously, now. Hideo has lost his way, and I mourn the man he once was, as he was able to spin a very entertaining yarn. Revengeance is the most truly genuine Metal Gear I’ve played since, perhaps, MGS2. After MGS2, it all started going downhill and becoming ever more, more, and more serious.

    I don’t understand the obsession with seriousfaced content, especially when I’m usually going to still laugh at it because it’s hardly intelligent, anyway. This reminds me of how I laugh at films like Die Hard, when no one else is, and people look at me funny. And I just don’t understand the reaction; What, I’m not supposed to be laughing at this? I’m supposed to take this seriously?

    As I’ve also said, that was one of the things that kept me from The Secret World initially, until I had it pointed out to me that Ragnar’s attitude was pretty much ‘no, no no, I want you to laugh, and then laugh some more!’ The Welsh shaman in the Templar area was, let’s be honest, very telling. :P

    That’s what I got wrong about TSW, and I got it wrong because so much entertainment is being focused at extroverts now, and whilst they do have a sense of humour, they prefer drama over funny stuff. I was reading a study the other day that provided another interesting correlation — extroverts prefer reality television and talk shows, introverts prefer comedies and documentaries.

    So, the extroverted audience, now the biggest in gaming, prefers seriousfaced games. Except the people making the games (hello Hideo!) aren’t very good at seriousfaced games. They’ll try new voice actors, new emotional hijacking tactics, grimdark tactics, and so on… but it’ll still be funny. It’ll be funny because they don’t really know how to do serious with any degree of worth. You have some film makers who’re really good at doing serious — Brokeback Mountain comes to mind — but most of the time…

    And that’s what I feel is going on here.

    This is too stupid to not laugh at? What do you mean I’m not supposed to be laughing because they have a new, more seriousfaced voice actor?

    Hideo is following the money, definitely, rather than creating projects of passion any more. His last project of passion, his last real one, was MGS2. From there, it was tainted, and MGS 4 just felt like it left everything important behind. It was still funny, yeah, but it wasn’t supposed to be funny. And I don’t want to have anything to do with something that takes itself THAT seriously.

    #12 6 months ago
  13. TheWulf


    I respect what you’re saying in general, in the post. I also understand what you’re saying about known celebrities as voice actors, but this once again only applies to the extroverted market. The average introvert, like myself, couldn’t give a toss about celebrity names, in fact, we’d prefer they weren’t there. As an introvert, I’m capable of analysis strong enough to come to two conclusions.

    1.) The celebrity is going to invariably be bad for the role. First because they’re probably just a bad actor in general, which is true of most celebrities, and two, because they’ve likely never had any experience with doing voice acting work before.

    2.) The money they paid on the celebrity WILL come out of the salary of the other voice actors, therefore, you’ll be able to hire less voice actors of a lesser quality. If you look at Oblivion, where they hired Patrick Stewart, you see how true this is. (And I don’t think that Patrick Stewart is a great actor, since he always plays the role of Patrick Stewart.)

    So, as an introvert, I actually find the presence of celebrities to be a massive turn-off. I’ve watched enough genuinely good TV to know that the best acting always comes from those who haven’t made much of a name for themselves, because they’re more invested in the job than the name. And they usually continue to be.

    So, yeah, it’s a sorry state of affairs that dim-witted extroverts are the market focus.

    And usually, we just slowly have to try and educate them. It can take months, even years, to make them understand what we did in seconds. “Big celebrity need big money. Big celebrity no make you feel. Big celebrity mean Nolan North voice everything else. Unga bunga.

    SOME are catching on, but it’s still too few to actually make a difference.


    He doesn’t feel that Hayter is a very good actor.

    No, he’s not, but he’s a perfectly good VOICE ACTOR for the role.

    Let me get that text from above…

    Big celebrity need big money. Big celebrity no make you feel. Big celebrity mean Nolan North voice everything else. Unga bunga.

    Look. You’re buying into the same extroverted crap that lands us with the sort of thing that happens in Oblivion. Hayter was a perfectly good voice actor for the role, he wasn’t a celebrity or a big shot actor, but he did an adequate job. And it allowed them to budget many other good voice actors for other roles.

    And capturing facial expressions isn’t a compelling excuse to a mind as erudite as mine. Even with technology like L. A. Noire, which makes MGS 5 look like stone age facial tech by comparison, the people still look rubbery and fake, the animation is still stilted, and it looks wrong. And the body language is cartoony, and broken. It’s all a big, bloody mess.

    Even though the actors from the Tex Murphy series have had no professional training whatsoever, they still provide for a more convincing human than Hideo’s new Snake.

    This is why I know you’re an extrovert, because you didn’t have the insight or the capability for questioning or analysis to figure this out for yourself. You just went with your gut feelings, and took what you heard from brand gods at face value, without ever actually considering the validity of those words. So you’re just parroting what you heard. You never examined them internally to come to the conclusions that I did.

    If the face tech isn’t there, no actor, no matter how big their budget is, could make the faces actually look good. The only thing that could do that at this point in time is FMV. As such, a good voice actor, like Hayter, would be perfectly fine.

    #13 6 months ago

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