Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield’s Voice Actors Replaced in Resident Evil 2 Remake

While we haven’t heard much about it since its announcement, many fans have been wondering how faithful the Resident Evil 2 remake will be to its classic PlayStation One beginnings. Now, we’ve learned (thanks PCGamesN) a key part of the game’s experience unfortunately won’t be returning in the remake.

Both Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield’s English voice actors won’t be returning to reprise their roles, news coming from both Leon’s original voice actor Matt Mercer and Claire’s original voice actor Allyson Court.

In a video uploaded to her personal YouTube, Court noted that producers on the remake first contacted her to return for her role as Claire, both for motion capture and localization work as a voice actress.

Two competing companies were trying to obtain the contract and once the contract was won, Court was told they chose to go with a non-union voice actress instead. This goes back to the SAG-AFTRA union voice actor strike, where Canadian union ACTRA are now refusing work from projects afflicted by the strike, in solidarity with the U.S. actors who are part of SAG-AFTRA.

Leon Kennedy’s most recent voice actor, Matt Mercer, also tweeted confirmation that his understanding of the situation is the same as Allyson, meaning Capcom decided to go with a non-union actor for his role as well.

The SAG-AFTRA union strike has been going on since October of last year, and nothing has really come of it since then. The actor’s union has been seeking better compensation for performers.

Editor’s Note: Leon S Kennedy’s original voice actor is Paul Haddad. The article has been updated to make this clearer.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.

  • Deathtone

    :-/ capcom cutting corners? No way! Lol

  • Touma

    No offence but I’m not a fan of them, so that’s already an improvement for me.

  • NukeA6

    It’s all good, I was expecting Capcom to mess up the remake anyway.

  • Mr0303

    It’s a shame that they won’t be returning to their original roles, but this should be a wake up call for the twats at SAG-AFTRA that they can’t make unreasonable demands to publishers – as history has shown VAs are quite replaceable. Unions are cancer.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Woah, thought SAGAFTRA was a Commiefornia thing. Nice seeing Canadians are just as terrible at picking things to strike over as they are in South Park.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Capcom isn’t cutting corners; no one wants to deal with those striking twats.

  • Feniks

    Why not use the original audio? I am deeply and thoroughly unimpressed with actors reprising a role they did 20 years ago. It always sounds different. You can never recreate the original. Just look at the Homeworld remaster.

  • don_vare

    i’m pulling this out of my butt so don’t take it as fact but i assume the remake is either gonna have more dialog and/or different scenes so re using the same audio would be impossible

  • totenglocke

    Good. Fuck the union thugs, they need to realize that they are easily replaced and should be thankful for such a good job instead of demanding more and more.

  • MusouTensei

    I support this decision, and as I already said wheb this sag-aftra shit started, this could be the chance for new voice talents.

  • Tubsiwub

    That’s super fucking rude. It really dampens the excitement over this remake…

  • David Young

    Why is that union thing is still on going?

  • Warrior90

    Why else? Greed.

  • megaman

    It is a complete remake, if its anything like REmake the script will be re-written and few if any sceenes will have the exact same dialogue, many scenes will be completely new.

    Also the voice acting quality from the original varies a lot. Most of it is not up to an acceptable standard.

  • SuuLoliBoob

    Are Voice actors still doing the strike to get royalties from game sales?

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    The combination of Canadians and Californians pushed their egos to levels long thought unreachable.

  • NukeA6

    I guess Capcom is doing something good again. Funny, it’s been only Resident Evil lately.

  • CyborgNinja

    I’m fine with this. It’s not like they used the same VA for the original’s remake (even though I wish they had).

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    They made RE7 into VR shit so it wasn’t much of a good decision.

  • Matthew Hage

    Itt: People who think voice acting is easy and pain free.

  • totenglocke

    Itt: Matthew has never worked a hard job before.

  • Wonderkarp

    Allyson Court was Jubilee in the x-men 90s cartoon

  • SuuLoliBoob

    But no one is saying that. Getting paid a good check and getting insurance is one thing (Which a lot of pro VAs should and do get already) but getting a chunk of the profit from game sales shouldn’t be something VAs should get for making up only maybe 20% (and that’s being generous) of a whole game.

  • Bitterbear

    Can we get dual audio and play the game with Japanese voices? It’s tiring to play a Japanese survival horror game when everyone sounds right out of the 4Kids’ voice dub from Yu-Gi-Oh!

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    They don’t even put anywhere near the level of effort the Japs do; why should they have something good that they don’t?

  • Lea Pastillaroja

    The whole point of having the original RE VAs was to have those lovely “so bad it’s good” dubs
    But the camp factor in RE games is never coming back, why bother with the original cast if they’re going to be a bounch of entitled twats on perpetual strike

  • Cy

    Whatever, they weren’t that great anyway. Everyone should go with non-union actors just to show them they’re not irreplaceable.

  • totenglocke

    Especially when the programmers and artists who actually make the game are just regular salaried employees.

  • TT

    on the one hand, I actually really enjoyed their voice acting so I’m a little disappointed. On the other hand, yeah, fuck those unions. Hopefully the new voices are decent.

  • lucben999

    I understand they’re asking to be paid continuous royalties that are higher than what any programmer gets. This is just ridiculous, sounds to me like video game voice actors think they’re Hollywood movie stars and don’t realize their work is not nearly as big a component in video games as it is in movies. They are grossly overvaluing their contribution.

  • lucben999

    They think themselves movie stars and demand to be paid a percentage of all sales, when not even the people who actually make the games get paid that much.

  • Don Tworry

    I was very confused by this story initially so thanks for the editor’s note.

    Anyway, I never cared Matt Mercer as Leon. His portrayal was too “anime-y” so to speak. Think Troy Baker’s James Sunderland. If they aren’t going with the original, I’d rather have Paul Mercier from RE4 to play Leon again.

  • Feniks

    This. American unions are not unions they are GUILDS. They are extortion rackets.

  • Feniks

    Oh a remake and not a remaster? Then it doesn’t really matter who they pick I guess.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    This isn’t really a surprise to be honest, Capcom replaces RE voice actors all the time and the original REmake replaced the cast as well (though, in that case, it was really needed).

  • Uncle Ocelot

    I think dual audio is pretty likely, the last few games had it.

  • Arenegeth

    If the SAG-AFTRA idiots were only willing to go after realistic and worthy goals, and maybe using the royalties lunacy as way to start the negotiation, but even then you don’t start a cease-fire negotiation by asking for your opponent to surrender.

    You’re never going to get royalties, you honestly don’t deserve them since both we the gamers and the publishers (and developers) know that you are a very small part (if any) of any given game’s selling point and easily replaceable by very talented people who you and your clique have been gate-keeping away from the industry for so long now.

    And the fact that some of your members are so disliked by the community, either by the virtue of their ubiquity or by choosing to publicly align themselves with a certain brand of politics and consequently shit on their audience, doesn’t help you either, neither does the fact that the people that actually make the games aren’t getting any royalties either, and if anyone was gonna get some, it would be them.

    So they can fuck off right off a pier, the voice acting for RE2 was pretty abysmal by modern standards anyway (not as bad as RE1 though) and too generic to be in any way nostalgic, and is not like I can’t just plug my original copy on the PS1 right now and start playing anyway.

    So yeah fuck off, and let some new people land a job for a change.

  • totenglocke

    I’m going to laugh so hard when these idiots sink their careers out of greed.

  • hazardman89

    You should add that the strike affects any game developed after February 2015.

    I know RE2 remake was announced as approved for development in August 2015.

  • 2501

    Screw those two, how about we find the original voice actors for Resident Evil 1. That shit is like the holy grail for RE fans.

  • Snorlaxation

    I’m guessing… Troy Baker and Laura Bailey

  • Jumanji Joe

    Not all unions are cancer. My bother is part of a union and they help fight the greedy corporate cunts that try and treat workers like replaceable drones. Most Hollywood unions are giant pieces of shit though.

  • Mr0303

    Not all, but more often than not the union leaders are using the actual workers as shields for their own gains.

  • -blank-

    Understandable, but DAMN what a shame! I love Leon’s RE2 voice actor, he was so goofy and cheesy. Oh well, hopefully some new VA can get their name out there by being in this game, provided they don’t fuck it up.

  • Uncle Ocelot

    Aren’t they both unionised?

  • Scruffy, the Janitor

    Sucks, but voice acting is an easy ass job. This whole garbage has been nonsense.

  • Charlie

    Voice over isn’t an easy job in every case. But the idea that they should be entitled to additional compensation beyond their hourly rate (or whatever they can negotiate on a game by game basis (remember that the contract they are striking sets only the minimum hourly rate, companies and actors are free to negotiate different rates)), is ridiculous as almost every commentor has stated. All the union is doing is assuring that fewer and fewer companies will choose to use union talent (given the massive headaches and potential strikes associated with union actors). It is sad, really, as unions used to look out for the best interests of their membership.

  • totenglocke

    By viewing the company that provides them with a job as “the enemy”, the union is cancer. The employees need the company, the company can always find other employees.

  • DariusQ

    I’m personally nostalgic about the OG VAs, but mostly because of how laughably bad they were. Zombies aren’t exactly the most serious of situations so the over-the-top acting really added to the campiness.

  • Snorlaxation

    Are they? No idea. I never really payed attention to any of it.
    Who do you think would play them/be a good fit?

  • Kainevil Rc

    You people seem to forget the kind of shit Crapcom has been pulling off over the last decade. Street Fiasco V wasn’t enough i guess…

    I’m not defending these guys either. I hope The Evil Within 2 beats that RE7 garbage to pieces. RE7 is an Extremely Overrated Game.

  • 2501

    TWE is trash, by far Mikami’s worst game. Surprised it even got a sequel.

  • InfectedAI

    If it’s not Matt Mercer I’d REALLY like Paul Mercier back. I dunno if he’s union too though.

  • InfectedAI

    Good VO isn’t easy. But demanding royalties is absurd. Games are in development for years, then they come in during the last few weeks and think they deserve royalties? The actual developers deserve it more than them.

  • InfectedAI

    They meant Matt Mercer. They weren’t going to get the original VAs. Check their edit. NG made a mistake.

  • RichardGristle

    I’d like to see Paul Mercer for Leon and Sally Cahill come back for old school Ada. Claire had 0 personality in the original game so I honestly don’t know why people care so much. I’m happy with any decent actress to replace her.

  • chaoguy

    I think they will but out of it being cheaper, rather than whats better for the industry or a moral stand-point.

  • RichardGristle

    >tfw your precious union is doing nothing but costing you jobs

    Ha!

  • chaoguy

    Hell, I even agree with the idea of “danger pay” for voice roles that shred your vocal chords more (screeching, raspy, etc) since VA work is very “feast & fast” and having your vocal chords ruined/sore from a tough role means you can’t work if the opportunity arises.

  • RichardGristle

    Meh, heightens it for me. Always glad to see the union mafioso get fucked.

  • RichardGristle

    Oh just go have a gander at Trudeau’s Twitter page to see just how fucked Canada is. It probably puts even Commiefornia to shame.

  • Kainevil Rc

    Worst bait i’ve seen. I bet your toaster wasn’t able to run it.

  • Kainevil Rc

    The Japanese Claire for Revelations 2 was pretty good for me. I hope they give the same treatment to this game so that i can just switch over if i find the new cast too shitty.

  • Kainevil Rc

    ADAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

  • Kainevil Rc

    Exactly

  • Cy

    Then that’s even more of a victory of capitalism over unions.

  • Jumanji Joe

    How very American of you to mindlessly defend big business while they ruin the western world.

  • sanic

    I support this choice but they better deliver something decent.

  • TT

    also don’t the Japanese VA’s usually do a lot of publicity related things to promote the games?

  • TT

    it’s pretty much a Simpson’s reference

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcEfOcEsbDc

  • Tejan

    I’m not sure about games, but they do it with anime.
    Though in Japan VA’s are promoted as idols/stars of some kind. So in Japan having a notable VA might increase sales due to their popularity, while in the west that just isn’t the case. The industry here made it so that western VA’s are completely replaceable, so they’re asking for a fix to a problem they created with this strike.

  • Mr0303

    The Simpsons are right as usual.

  • Nicole Elaine Tubbs

    As a non-union/SAG-eligible actor ( I also do VO) the purpose for wanting royalties for Union actors I assume goes back to the reality that acting as a full time steady income is not something most actors experience. That is why residuals are important. It’s income to support an actor until the next job comes and helps them be able to retire someday. Non-union actors earn significantly less than Union actors, and they don’t have to pay non-union actors at all, if at least poorly. So understand that it isn’t all greed.

  • totenglocke

    There are big businesses that are good and big businesses that are bad. There a small businesses that are good and small businesses that are bad. There are individuals who are good and individuals who are bad.

    Thinking that the profitability or number of employees of a company determines if they’re good or bad means you’re a very small minded person who isn’t capable of thinking things through.

  • totenglocke

    Why should they get paid for not working? Like with any other contract job, you do something else to pay the bills between gigs until you “make it big”. See the endless list of actual actors who work minimum wage or serving jobs to pay the bills until they get a solid acting career. You’re not owed money for not working just because you’re having trouble finding a consistent paycheck. Jesus, that’s a greedy and entitled mentality.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Yep and they get more for it.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    Seen the pictures of what he says; Canadian border wall can’t come soon enough.

  • No_Good_Names_Ever

    That response lacks past tense.

  • ProxyDoug

    From what I’ve seen of the game, it looks like a Silent Hill ripoff.

  • Charlie

    My understanding is that the companies offered increases, but just weren’t willing to make them residuals based on the performance of the product. So the union is really saying, “I’d rather you not pay me increased hourly wages today…but (possibly) pay me tomorrow (if the product is successful).” That seems backwards and is putting form over function.

    Actors would much rather have the increases in their pocket today and not have to worry if the game is successful or not — as that is out of their hands as such success/failure is based on the game developers, marketing, market conditions, whims of consumers, etc. etc. This whole thing is stupid and short sighted.

    That the union members are not rising up against their leadership signals to me that they haven’t even taken the time to understand what the companies offered versus what their union leadership is trying to do: if the union doesn’t have to track the residual payments over time, then they don’t have to hire X number of union employees to administer a new video game residual process. This is simply about getting a larger staff and taking more of the members’ dues in employee compensation. The ridiculousness of the union position is astounding.

  • SiliconNooB

    Good. Fuck the voice actors!

    I’d rather the actual game devs got paid.

  • Shinigami Sama

    who cares about voice actors i want great game-play + new zombies + same camera angle + maybe new rooms + new weapons

  • Nicole Elaine Tubbs

    Actors as a whole can go months or years without work. Most companies don’t want them to have insurance, a retirement, and could care less how much they are paid. The average actor earns $30,000 to $50,000 a year. Only the 1% make above scale ( think Hollywood). And if an actor that’s non Union ( was and even Union goes unemployed for a long time, they need to be able to file unemployment. There are no regulations on how much, how long the work hours are, no benefits, and no one regulating how well an actor is treated.

    Example, if you as a non Union actor wanted to work for my Production company, I could say I would pay you $8.00/he with OT after 12hrs, a buyout of $1,000 to all future rights of residuals, keep you at work until I say you can leave ( so 12 to 18 day) no benefits, etc. And you would work for me maybe a month or two, and if even if you were great I am not obligated to bring you back for my next videogame project to reprise your role. Youn’t anything about it. The union keeps that kind of abuse down.

  • Nicole Elaine Tubbs

    As an actor I feel many people do not understand the real reason why SAG is fighting for this for actors. SAG does not profit off of actor residuals ( and yes, I receive residuals for past work, and it’s not as high as you might think – about 2% of what the production earns on their sales, and it’s not going to be enough to quit my day job, but enough to make ends meet). Have you ever seen many non Union contracts for actors? They don’t have to pay a fair wage, they can give you whatever buyout they want and often you have no future rights to the use of your likeness or voice – essentially allowing a production to keep profiting off of you long after you are dead and gone, and your dependents have no future rights to your earnings once you are gone. I like the fact that my son can be taken care of ( more or less) with a few hundred every three months for my hard work and likeness after I am gone, especially since he is disabled. It is not greed on SAG’s part, but rather the production companies greed. I understand what you are trying to say, but talk to SAG actors and find out what made them join the Union in the first place. When the time is right I plan to join since I am eligible to join SAG.

  • totenglocke

    They choose to work part time contract jobs. If I chose to occasionally work doing any part time job, regardless of industry, I could go months or years between jobs too. I also wouldn’t get company provided benefits because contract work is NOT the same as hourly / salary work. When you do contract work, you ARE your employer and you are responsible for paying those things. Just look up what a 1099 contractor is in the US. I know, I used to do it for a living.

    The law doesn’t allow contract workers to collect unemployment between gigs because the unemployment system requires you to work for a set period of time with your employer paying into the unemployment system before you can collect. This is not specific to voice actors, it’s EVERYONE. Why do you think that some twerps who read a script should get special privileges that no one else gets? Why should they not be held responsible for their choices like everyone else? They are held to the same laws and safety regulations as every other job in the country. You have no fucking clue what you’re talking about.

    “Example, if you as a non Union actor wanted to work for my Production company, I could say I would pay you $8.00/he with OT after 12hrs, a buyout of $1,000 to all future rights of residuals, keep you at work until I say you can leave ( so 12 to 18 day) no benefits, etc. And you would work for me maybe a month or two, and if even if you were great I am not obligated to bring you back for my next videogame project to reprise your role. Youn’t anything about it. The union keeps that kind of abuse down.”

    There was no abuse. If I felt the job was worth the money, I’d take it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t take it. Again, it’s like EVERY OTHER FUCKING JOB. It’s not “abuse” to do the job you sign up to do, you spoiled brat. You’ve clearly never worked a day in your life if you think people should be handed loads of money for doing nothing and that it’s “abuse” to do the job you were hired to do. Christ, people like you are why we need intelligence tests before allowing people to vote.

  • Personaknight

    VA’s in videogames aren’t entirely necessary? Who would have guessed.

  • Nicole Elaine Tubbs

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Louise Clair Barker

    i don’t get all these original voice actors isn’t returning to resident evil 2 stories saying Matthew Mercer isn’t returning he didn’t voice him back then anyway it was some british guy called Paul Haddad who voiced Leon first.

  • Lea Pastillaroja

    Your post deserves a Jill sandwich

  • tccboss

    I didn’t know that this strike was a fucking thing.