Why Thief's Garrett has a new voice actor

While many Thief fans are not happy with the revelation that Stephen Russell will not be back as the voice of the stealthy Garrett in the upcoming franchise reboot, developer Eidos Montreal said it had to do with how they were developing the game, not a dissatisfaction with the actor.

"Stephen was considered quite heavily. We actually had him in for some preliminary vocal recordings in fact," Narrative Director Steven Gallagher said in an interview on the Eidos community blog. But the studio's desire to do "full performance capture"--recording voice, motion capture and face tracking all at once--took precedence.

"The actor playing Garrett needed to be able to perform his own stunts," said Audio Director Jean-Christophe Verbert. "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."

Gallagher said that bringing Russell back would be akin to casting Sean Connery again in the role of James Bond. "It's a nice thought, but honestly, it wouldn't make sense for anything else other than nostalgia."

Ubisoft Toronto made a similar decision for Splinter Cell Blacklist when it chose not to recast Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher, citing Ironside's age and the increased demands of performance capture.

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