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by John Keefer, Apr 04, 2013 9:00am PDT
Related Topics – Thief, Square Enix, PC, Eidos Montreal, PlayStation 4, Next Xbox, Thief Series
The was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from old-school Thief fans when it was revealed that Stephen Russell would not be reprising the role of Garrett. But in a new community video post, Eidos Montreal has revealed the new actor, found during a talent search in Montreal.
Romano Orzari will be taking on the role, mostly because of the more demanding work required with full performance capture. Narrative Director Steven Gallagher said it was something about Orzari's eyes that appealed to him. "Garrett speaks a lot through his eyes, and I thought that was something that Romano was very good at doing."
Orzari said, that although he did not want to be tainted by how Russell had handled the character previously, the "kid inside me said 'no, you gotta check it out.'" He used it as research to understand the character and then he took the role a bit deeper.
Check out the developer diary below, and be sure to check out our preview from GDC.
This guy's IMDB's credentials are impressive. Maybe it will be a pleasant surprise.
Honestly, I think that he did the CGI trailer very well, he kept a deep undertone like Russell did and he actually did a bit of homework on the character.
No one can ever beat GOAT Russell at voicing Garrett though.
I don't understand how a bunch of French speakers are qualified to pick an English speaking voice actor.
Most people in the world can speak English pretty well these days. In fact, when I notice typo/grammar error ridden posts on forums these days, it's often the native English speakers who wrote them.
I'm talking about aesthetics, not language rules. If I were making a French language game, I would expect people who speak French to be more qualified to choose voices that are more pleasing to French ears.
And yes, English is a very common language around the world, but non-native speakers have accents that aren't always desired.
You don't have to be a native speaker to run the casting process of a game or movie. If you're involved enough with the English language (by, for example, being exposed to truckloads of English movies and games) you'll be able to recognize accents AND make casting decisions that are just as informed as the judgement of native English speakers. Besides, large teams like that tend to operate almost entirely in English anyway due to the large amount of people involved.
Decisions as informed as native speakers? What? I think you are completely missing the point. There is a huge difference between being a native speaker with a true appreciation for native vocals vs just copying Hollywood.
I think you're blowing things out of proportion. A true appreciation for native vocals? Really? You think Looking Glass casted Russell because of his completely unique native vocalisation or simply because he could pull off the kind of character they wanted Garrett to be rather well? Let's face it, both Looking Glass and Eidos casted an actor because he needed to narrate a video game. They don't need him to sing an opera.
And is there some source that Steven Gallagher and Jean-Christophe Verbert aren't native English speakers anyway?
You're absolutely right! The people at Looking Glass would have just done all the voices themselves if they didn't all have sore throats at the time. No casting consideration whatsoever!
Or maybe you are undervaluing a developed, established characters who *is* the voicework of Stephen Russell.
The linkedin page for Jean-Christophe Verbert is almost entirely in French, so it's safe to assume that French is his primary language. As for Steven Gallagher, I'm not sure.
Maybe we should just agree that the "Canadean studio is probably completely filled with people who can speak nothing but French and therefore isn't qualified to make English casting decisions"-statement was complete bunk and probably didn't really deserve a reply to begin with.
And I'm not undervaluing the voice of the main character, but I'm not overvaluing it either. It's not the be-all and end-all behind a game project. Sure, it helps to reel in fans, but studios generally don't let everything depend on it. If Stephen Russell had a heart attack after the development of Thief 1, Looking Glass wouldn't have abandoned the series but simply casted another guy to do the sequel. That's how things work. If this game is succesful enough to warrant sequels, then to the new generation of fans Romano Orzari will be the voice of Garrett and THEY will get upset if another guy was hired to do the voice of a new game. That's how nostalgica glasses work.
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