Stephen Russell Won’t Be Voicing Garrett in Thief Reboot
As Eidos Montreal continues to unveil its new Thief game, the studio has trotted out a few of its developers to talk about the game and the work that they’re putting into it. Regarding the trailer, fans have noticed that Garrett now has a different voice—suggesting that the original voice actor is not a part of the project.
The game’s narrative director Steven Gallagher and audio director Jean-Christophe Verbert have confirmed that the original voice actor, Stephen Russell, is not going to reprise his role as the master thief.
According to Gallagher, Russell was “considered quite heavily” for the role. “We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact,” said Gallagher.
“Yes, it was actually very early during development at that time that we had him involved, before we made the decision to record our actor’s voices and their movement at the same time using a full performance capture technique,” echoed Verbert.
The developers elaborated that with the new game, the voice actors would have to wear a full mo-cap suit to record their facial animations, voices, and movements all in a single take.
Verbert and Gallagher cited the reason for doing so as “immersion.”
“Being able to capture the voice at the same time as the actors’ movements and facial expressions, all while the actors play off each other, delivers a much more convincing experience than traditional techniques of recording each characters’ dialogue separately and then animating everything by hand afterwards,” said Verbert.
With regards to Russell, the developers found that there was a “disconnect” they could not reconcile between Garrett and Stephen’s voice.
“The actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts. Garrett’s a really athletic guy. We could have pasted Stephen’s voice on top of the actions and stunts of someone else, but this wouldn’t appear natural. It really wouldn’t make any sense to capture the full performance for our other characters, but not for our star.”
What the interview reveals is that the new Thief may in fact offer a third person view (at least in parts) in contrast to the first two games, so they’d clearly want an actor capable of performing the role of Garrett well beyond his voice. Thief 3 had a third person view, but it wasn’t very good.