Even among Hideo Kojima's most diehard fans (not to be confused with Die-Hardman), I think it's a damn near universal opinion that Kojima made the wrong call when he replaced longtime voice actor David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland in Metal Gear Solid 5. It didn't help that compared to Hayter's gravelly-but-slightly-goofy performance, Sutherland seemed a bit subdued—or phoned in, depending on who you ask.
Other than little cameos here and there, Hayter hasn't officially played Snake in more than a decade. But a new teaser trailer on Konami's YouTube channel has fans freaking out, because it stars Hayter and teases more to come.
The 28-second teaser for "Metal Gear Solid Legacy series" begins with Hayter in shadow, slowly turning to face the camera as his voiceover plays alongside clips from the games. He talks about the popularity and impact of Metal Gear, and closes the teaser with "I hope you're ready, because this is only the beginning." You can definitely hear a tinge of Solid Snake in his voice during that last line, and the YouTube commenters are reacting as expected:
"Our real Big Boss. So good to see David Hayter back <3"
"David Hayter truly just said the biggest: Kept you waiting huh?"
"Konami is doing the right thing bringing David Hayter on to promote, very happy to see that."
I'm already seeing speculation that Hayter could return to voice Snake / Big Boss in a new game, though the more common theory (or wishful thinking) is that Konami could be planning to re-release Metal Gear Solid 5 with a new dub, replacing Sutherland's performance. That strikes me as reading too much into a teaser, though, as the description says that in the Metal Gear Solid Legacy series "David Hayter guides us throughout iconic moments in the #MetalGearSolid franchise." It then reiterates the "only the beginning" line in text.
So it's a marketing slogan, and my read is that "only the beginning" actually just refers to this being a teaser trailer for a retrospective video series, meaning:
- We'll hear a lot more of Hayter's narration
- The videos will go through the games in order, so they'll literally start at the beginning
Also, Konami's hinted pretty heavily that there will be a Volume 2 of the MGS Master Collection. so I think odds are slim that Hayter's coming back for a substantial role in a new game or a redub of MGS5. Keep your expectations low, folks, and you won't be disappointed. That said, a Hayter Dub of Metal Gear Solid 5 would be the biggest act of fan fantasy wish fulfillment since the Snyder Cut, and after the disappointing quality of the Master Collection, Konami could certainly use the positive buzz.
If Volume 2 of the Master Collection does indeed include the long-stuck-on-PS3 Metal Gear Solid 4, let's hope it gets the treatment it deserves.