Kratos voice actor Terrence Carson was replaced with newcomer Christopher Judge for the God of War reboot for a specific reason. Fans of the franchise themselves were quick to notice the change in Kratos voice actor, back when Sony debuted footage from the God of War reboot at E3 2016.
Like many video game voice actors in the last few years, Carson has now been replaced in one of his best-known video game character roles. Judge, for his part, is best known for his work on Stargate SG-1 as Teal'c and Magneto on X-Men: Evolution.
Speaking with THR, God of War director Cory Barlog revealed exactly what brought about the change, and it may not come as a surprise:
“The size difference between Kratos and Terrence is very great. Offsetting that for the size of a child, it turned out it was going to be almost impossible to try and actually shoot them and go in and redo the animations."
This is another example of video games and Hollywood becoming more connected. More and more often we’re seeing traditional voice actors get replaced with Hollywood (and TV) actors who can perform more of the physical acting that modern motion capture techniques require. The most infamous example of this happening to date was on Metal Gear Solid V, which saw longtime Solid Snake and Big Boss voice actor David Hayter get replaced by Kiefer Sutherland.
The ability to capture an actor’s performance at once has been a boon to video games - look no further than the work Naughty Dog has done in the last decade for proof of that. Still, it's painful to see talented and beloved voice actors get replaced due to something out of their control, especially in Carson’s and Hayter’s case, when they weren’t given a chance with the new technology. Voice acting requires more than just using your voice, it too can be a physical performance.
Sometimes though, it’s best to let creators do what they think is best for their work, and not keep someone around to appease fans. While voice acting can itself be a physical endeavor, most Hollywood actors are better trained and more experienced in providing a full range performance. What should ultimately matter is how good a performance Christopher Judge delivers. Who knows, fans may end up feeling that Judge is a better fit for the character.
God of War is set to release sometime in 2018.