Kiefer Sutherland to Star in Metal Gear Solid

By Phill Powell

Kiefer-as-Snake-motion-capture
Kiefer Sutherland in the studio preparing for his role in a new Metal Gear game.

The “Metal Gear Solid” series is one of the most popular in the history of modern video gaming. Each generation of the game ups the ante and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, seeks to continue that tradition: TV and film star Kiefer Sutherland will lend not only his voice to the lead character of Snake but his image to the game as well.

Wanted: A New Snake
Metal Gear‘s director Hideo Kojima is a master at how to create video games. He oversees all aspects of the series and with the latest installment wanted to take the game in a new direction: “I wanted Snake to have a more subdued performance expressed through subtle facial movements and tone of voice rather than words. The game takes place in 1984 when Snake is 49 years old. [The original 8-bit NES Metal Gear game debuted in 1987.] We needed someone who could genuinely convey both the facial and vocal qualities of a man in his late 40s. It’s different from anything we’ve done before.” Snake was previously voiced by actor David Hayter (for 15 years). Hayter, who was unceremoniously relieved of the job, tweeted: “It’s been a good run.”

Keifer-Sutherland-as-SnakeGame designers use motion sensors to capture the actor’s performance as Solid Snake.

Man of Action
The Metal Gear game franchise is noted for helping develop the stealth game genre, and has racked up total sales of more than 30 million copies worldwide.

The casting of Sutherland in the lead role also kicked up rumors that the actor may play Snake in a Metal Gear movie. However Konami, the games publisher and rights holder, made no announcement about that.

It will be interesting to see the actor bring Snake to life. Sutherland who is 46, has appeared in more than 70 films. He already has tough-guy action credentials from the award-winning television show 24, in which he starred. And while he doesn’t play video games, (“I’m not a gamer, but I was certainly keenly aware of the legacy of these games.”), his performance is being very eagerly awaited by those who are.