Since the first trailer to Ground Zeroes and when the internet worked out that The Phantom Pain was indeed Metal Gear Solid V, the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain hype train has been running without brakes. However, while so far the fan reaction has been incredibly positive, there has been one aspect of the next Metal Gear Solid game that has upset its fanbase – the recasting of Snake from David Hayter to Keifer Sutherland. Of course, not all of the fanbase is upset, and while Keifer has plenty of supporters out there, the fan backlash to him voicing Snake has been overwhelming. And while the matter does seem to be put to bed, many fans feel that Hideo Kojima is pulling the wool over our eyes, and that this entire supposed recasting of Snake is merely a ruse.
Here’s 5 reasons why David Hayter might return for The Phantom Pain
Before it was announced that David Hayter wasn’t returning, he posted a poll on his Twitter. The question asked was “How would you react if I didn’t play Snake in the next Metal Gear?”, with the results coming in at “Sad/Angry 64%, No Big Deal 12% and Would not Buy 24%”. Fans speculated that he was up to something, and a little under a month later he posted a statement on Twitter that can be found here.
However, while the statement seems heartfelt and rather genuine, the timing of it was a little suspect. He posted it on April 1st, and while fans have since asked him if it was an April fools joke, he has stood behind it being the real thing. Who knows, but this kicked off the theory that a Hayter-less Metal Gear Solid is possibly a ruse.
Cast your minds back to the original trailer for The Phantom Pain, long before we suspected it was actually a Metal Gear Solid title. The character who has his face bandaged who helps Snake – known only as Ishmael – is clearly voiced by Keifer Sutherland. Konami hasn’t changed this since either, and they have showed him in the GDC Fox Engine video. So what does this mean? Well, there’s a few possibilities. Either Keifer Sutherland is voicing both Snake and Ishmael- which can be heard in the GDC Fox Engine press conference, or he is just voicing Ishmael and someone else is eventually voicing Snake. Then again, this is assuming that Ishmael isn’t in Snake’s head, and is actually real and not a hallucination much like those “who don’t exist”.
This is an odd one here. After a number of trailers shown, there is one thing we haven’t seen yet – Snake speaking on -screen with the voice of Keifer Sutherland. There have been only two parts in which we’ve actually heard his voice, once from behind his head when he’s freeing Kaz in Afghanistan, and once more off-screen at the end of the E3 trailer. Many fans have made the mistake that Snake’s voice can be heard throughout the E3 trailer, but rather we are hearing both Revolver Ocelot and Kaz’s voices.
So after all these trailers, the announcement that Keifer Sutherland – a big Hollywood name – is voicing Snake, we haven’t actually seen him speak on screen. That’s pretty crazy, if you ask me. Konami have this huge name attached to their project, but have yet to show him in action? There must be some kind of misdirection going on here, right?
This certainly isn’t proof, but they are two interesting references that something – whether it involves the David Hayter or not – is going on. In a recent interview with Hideo Kojima on Gametrailers that can be found here, the interviewer asks Kojima at the end, “Given your reputation, should fans believe everything you’re saying, and like, are you doing a little bit of misdirection?”, to which Kojima pulls a smirk, and the frame freezes as the Metal Gear Solid theme plays. Keep in mind that the executive producer of Gametrailers is Geoff Keighley who, as we are now aware (1.50), was in on the original The Phantom Pain ruse right from the beginning. Could Gametrailers still be in on something with Kojima and are directly teasing it to us?
Additionally, before E3 on the KP Alert podcast (Episode 2) which can be found here, they talked mainly about the recently announced news that Keifer Sutherland was voicing Snake. When speaking about the voice over/mocap sessions, one of the team says (at 13.24) , “We started with VO and facial. Keifer came in a little early and we got started on it, did a few scenes and ummm… some… some things there too. Almost let it slip there“, to which everyone else laughs. Let what slip? Perhaps Keifer is doing the motion/facial capture and David Hayter is doing the voice of Snake? Who knows, but it seems like even Konami is desperately wanting to tell us something.
Finally, one of the most compelling pieces of info that Hayter is up to something. Since his statement saying farewell to the Metal Gear Solid fans, and his disappointment in not returning to the role, he has tweeted some rather cryptic messages.
First off is a message his posted leading up to E3:
Which was followed up by this tweet a few days later:
Which was then followed quite recently with this, Hayter arriving at E3 a little late to the party…
This has led many fans to believe that a reveal may be coming soon, just not yet. Additionally, here’s a tweet that hasn’t gained much traction, but I found it to be one of the more interesting tweets he has sent out:
In the end, we still don’t know, but I personally believe that Kojima has one more ruse up his sleeve. Time will tell, but during the next Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain trailer, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if it cut to Snake from the original Ground Zeroes trailer, he looks to the camera, and whips off his night vision goggles to the sound of David Hayters voice saying, “Kept you waiting, huh?” This outcome would deliver a terrific motion/facial capture performance from a seasoned actor, with the icing on that cake that is Snake’s voice, his one and only voice.
Make it happen.