The first trailer for the Thief reboot caused a bit of controversy among fans, who noticed that main character Garrett isn't played by long-time voice actor Stephen Russell. In a new community interview, Eidos Montreal explained why they went with a different actor.
In Thief, Garrett makes a living by robbing the rich of The City. He must sneak past guards, distract them with gadgets, or take them out silently. Stephen Russell played the role of Garrett in all three previous games.
"Stephen was considered quite heavily. We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact," said narrative director Steven Gallagher in the interview.
However, Eidos Montreal wanted to use full performance capture for Garrett. They plan to record the voice and movements of the actor. The actor in question therefore needed to perform all of the athletic stunts that Garrett could perform. The implication is that Russell wouldn't be able to perform the physical duties demanded of the role.
"We could have pasted Stephen’s voice on top of the actions and stunts of someone else, but this wouldn’t appear natural," said audio director Jean-Christophe Verbert.
Russell isn't the only long-time voice actor to miss out on a role because of full performance capture. Splinter Cell: Blacklist won't star Michael Ironside for the same reason.
It's been nine years since the last Thief game so maybe only a small group of nostalgic gamers remember the original voice of Garrett. As one of said gamers, I'm sad to hear that the reboot has moved on without Russell. Still, given his talent, I'm sure we'll hear him in plenty of other games soon.