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David Hayter: Kojima Tried to Replace Me Before, MGSV Would be “60 Hours of Humiliation”

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On the latest Game Informer Show podcast, former Metal Gear Solid voice actor David Hayter shared some not-too-fond words for Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, and his handling of the casting of the series’ iconic hero.

The circumstances surrounding the weird and somewhat disrespectful approach of casting Keifer Sutherland as Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain have gotten a bit clearer, thanks to some revelations from Hayter.

According to Hayter, Kojima’s attempts at replacing him as voice actor on Snake/Big Boss happened before. He learned of finally being replaced in one of the strangest ways – via bumping into a producer on the game at a recording studio. They shared a drink and Hayter brought the game up, asking if they could finally make a deal on the game, however he was flatly told that he wouldn’t be needed.

“That was basically it, and then I talked to Kris Zimmerman (Metal Gear English casting and voice director),” Hayter said. “She said, ‘We’re going forward, but it looks like they are going to try and replace you.’ They tried to do that before, and it never worked. They tried to get voice matches, and it never happened.”

He recapped previous attempts at Kojima replacing him for someone else:

“I had to re-audition for Metal Gear 3 to play Naked Snake,” Hayter said. “They made me re-audition to play Old Snake, and the whole time, they were trying to find somebody else to do it. I heard that Kojima asked one of the producers on Metal Gear 3 to ask Kurt Russell if he would take over for that game. He didn’t want to do it.”

Despite the pain of losing the role he basically helped build into a worldwide gaming icon, he is thankful to have had the opportunity to play Snake:

“It was annoying to me, because I thought that I had given a lot to the series and really helped promote it,” he said. “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.”

David has pretty much put Snake behind him, even refusing to play both versions of Metal Gear Solid V, because of the entire debacle.

“I was so annoyed by the Metal Gear V debacle, and people said, ‘Are you gonna play the game?’” he said. “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.”

If you’re hoping that Hayter will work on something new with Kojima, don’t hold your breath. “I’ve got no particular love for Kojima,” he said. “I don’t feel any need to go back and work with him again.”

His last game as Snake/Big Boss was 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, with his career as the legendary soldier beginning with the original Metal Gear Solid in 1998.

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.