Posted on November 14, 2011, Ross Lincoln Why The GTA V Trailer’s Narrator Is Probably Not The Player Character
When the GTA V trailer dropped, we all stopped everything and analyzed the hell out of it. Lots of goodies were identified, but the biggest question remaining unanswered is the identity of the game‘s protagonist. Most people have decided that the GTA V trailer’s narrator – the guy explaining why he moved to Los Santos – must be him. We never see anyone actually speaking the lines of dialogue in the trailer, however the camera does take great pains to linger, at minute 1:23, on an apparently middle aged character who bears a slight resemblance to Tommy Vercetti and looks to be the right age for someone to ruefully look back on their failed dreams of legitimacy.
Thanks to some sluething by IGTA5 and some errant tweets by friends, the actor has been identified as one Ned Luke. IMDB confirms that is indeed Ned’s image and voice, and as we see from the photo above, he does bear a striking resemblance to the middle aged character – named Albert DeSilva – seen in the trailer. But I don’t believe Albert is the lead character.
First, because of events on Twitter. Actor Jimmy Taenaka, a friend of Ned’s tweeted on November 5 that “my fellow thespian Ned Luke is the lead voice and profile in the upcoming game by Rockstar Grand Theft Auto 5!”. That seems pretty certain, but soon after, he walked that back a bit, tweeting: “@RockstarGames #GTAV looks awesome! it’s not official but I know that voice and look #NedLuke He is bigger & badder than Statham… lookout.” His comment ‘I know that voice’ would seem to indicate that he hasn’t heard anything firsthand, likely because Ned is bound by contract to stay mum on any details. He just recognized his friend’s likeness and voice and like everyone else, made the obvious connection.
I also can’t help but consider the recent supposed leak from a Rock* employee claiming that the player character is an African American in his early 30′s. All of the other information in this still-unverified leak has the ring of truth to it, particularly the in-universe activities, character customization and rumored scale. Which is why I’m inclined to accept the rumor of the main character as equally truthish, at least until I hear better information.
Using a middle-aged Italian Gangster type character would certainly be in keeping with the theme of an East Coast (or Florida) setting, but it doesn’t feel quite right, particularly because it’s ground Rock* has already covered twice, in Vice City and Liberty City Stories. It’s true they like to reuse certain themes – GTA IV and GTA III both center around recent arrivals to Liberty City, a common feature of a lot of NYC based fiction. The theme they’re likely to revisit in GTA V is probably related tangentially to San Andreas. While SA’s CJ is unlikely to make an appearance (despite rumors!), I fully expect they’ll touch on the idea of an old school LA resident of some kind – if only because people who live in LA are always complaining about transplants like me – and on the perceived obsession with youth and newness LA is associated with.
There’s also the fact that this is basically a teaser trailer. Revealing something as big as the protagonist right out the gate feels a little obvious, especially since they’re going to milk speculation about this for months – assuming we were right about the release date. But mainly, the monologue we’re hearing in the trailer doesn’t sound like something a protagonist of a GTA game would say. What it does sound like is something a mission generating character would say when they’re introduced to the main character, as a way of explaining what it is they want the main character to help them out with.
In fact, what it reminds me of is this:
But what do you think? Does DeSilva look like the main character? And since we’re speculating, what would you like to see in GTA V?