Michael Ironside Almost Quit Splinter Cell Before the Series Started
Richter from 'Total Recall' speaks out on how he almost skipped out on voicing the lead role of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series.
Kotaku reports that Michael Ironside nearly quit voicing Sam Fisher, the longtime protagonist of Ubisoft's Splinter Cell series, before the series took off during a Reddit AMA. Ironside mentioned that the first Splinter Cell's script was very cut and dry about Fisher being a stealthy killing machine and that he wanted out of his contract for the game. He originally thought Splinter Cell was going to be a generic game where he'd just narrate the intro for the game and dreaded the original version of the game's script upon reading it.
Ironside, known for his gruff roles in 'Total Recall' and 'Starship Troopers' said the following:
I have to confess I'm not a gamer. And when they sent me the contract for the very first game, it was quite lucrative, and I said 'absolutely, I will do this.' I thought it was going to be like PONG, and I would just have to introduce it.
When I got the script, it was very stiff, very inflexible, and very blood and violent.And I didn't want to do it. And told them I was going to give them back their money. They asked me what would it take to keep me on the project, and I said we would have to change the character, and give him some type of humanity. To their credit, they sat me down with the game creators, and we came up with the present Sam Fisher, who had an empathy and was not just a 2 dimensional killing machine. And we got as much humanity, I think that that format will allow.
Ironside explained that he was adamant about not being alone in the recording booths for the game and made sure his fellow cast members were next to him while recording the script. He actually made it one of his contractual stipulations for the first two games.
Ironside also mentioned why he didn't do Fisher's voice in Splinter Cell: Blacklist:
I think it's a great idea for Ubisoft. They've gone to motion capture, and this spring I will be 65 years old. I don't think anyone wants to pay money seeing a 65 year old Sam Fisher bounce around on set, killing and stumbling while he kills people. I wish them all the luck. I hope that franchise has a long and storied future.
At 64 years old, being a cancer survivor and dedicating decades of his life to playing villains and tough guys throughout Hollywood and TV, Michael Ironside earned his time off.