When news broke that 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland would be replacing David Hayter as the voice of Snake for Metal Gear Solid V, fans of the series were equal parts surprised and outraged. Considering Hayter had been playing the character for so long, it seemed like a slight that nobody understood. Years later, Hayter has revealed his true feelings about the recasting, and his rocky relationship with Konami/Kojima, during a special episode of the Game Informer Show podcast.
“It was annoying to me, because I thought that I had given a lot to the series and really helped promote it,” he told Game Informer. “At the same time, I genuinely feel that the run I had as Snake was remarkable. If you get that once in your career, that’s amazing. I don’t have any ill will toward Kiefer Sutherland or anything like that. The whole thing could have been handled better and a little more respectfully, but I’m not going to cry about it.”
While most of us were understandably shocked, Hayter revealed that it wasn’t the first time the company had tried to replace him. He explained, “They tried to do that before, and it never worked. They tried to get voice matches, and it never happened.”
In fact, Hayter says he actually had to re-audition for the role of Naked Snake and Old Snake for Metal Gear Solid 3, all while the company was searching for other actors. One of the actors Kojima had been eying for the role was Kurt Russell, who is famous for playing the role of Snake Plissken–the inspiration for Metal Gear‘s Snake–in the film Escape from New York. Russell, however, turned down the role.
Hayter admitted that it was painful to have the character slip out of his grasp and that he’d rather not drag up the hurt, which includes actually playing Metal Gear Solid V. “Yeah. That’ll be 60 hours of humiliation that I can’t get to. I haven’t played the latest two iterations, because it’s just too painful.”
He admitted to hoping Konami would take him back now that Kojima is gone, but stated that he doesn’t have any intention of working with Kojima in the future. “I’ve got no particular love for Kojima. I don’t feel any need to go back and work with him again.”
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HT: Game Informer