Game Studios Continue to Attract Bigger Actors

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Hollywood & Video Games

Dennis_quaidDennis Quaid is the latest A-list Hollywood actor to gravitate to games. Quaid ("The Day After Tomorrow") plays the protagonist, Colonel Michael Swift, in Vivendi Games' "TimeShift," a sci-fi first-person shooter. Michael Ironside, well known to gamers as the voice of "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell's" Sam Fisher, provides the voice of Doctor Krone. Nick Chinlund ("Con Air") rounds out the cast as General Mitchell. The long-delayed game by Saber Interactive, which was originally an Atari title, will ship in September for Xbox 360 and PC.

eWhile the younger generation of Hollywood actors who grew up playing games are active in the voice-acting space, a growing number of established actors are giving interactive entertainment a try. The odds are that Quaid is not a gamer, so the fact that he's delved into games shows the strength of the medium. Traditionally, game budgets cannot compete with movie or TV when it comes to payment for voice-acting, so the draw to this medium is usually the game itself or an interest in interactive entertainment.

Clint Eastwood is taking things a step further with his "Dirty Harry" videogame, which The Collective is developing for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. His Malpaso Films is working on the game and he's been involved in the development process. He's also helped bring Gene Hackman and Laurence Fishburne aboard on the voice-acting and likeness side. When Oscar winners bring their work ethic to videogames, it only helps attract attention to the game and to the medium, which in turn entices other actors to check out the medium.

Vivendi attracted a wide range of actors for "Scarface: The World Is Yours," including older thespians like Robert Loggia, Steven Bauer, and Al Israel from the original film. James Woods, Cheech Marin, Michael Rooker and Elliott Gould are other actors that brought original characters to life for the virtual sequel.

THQ was able to bring Oscar-winner Paul Newman and the entire case of the Pixar film "Cars" on board for the videogame versions. Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, John Ratzenberger and Bonnie Hunt all reprised their film roles for the game, which offers a sequel story to the hit movie.

This blend of Hollywood-licensed and original games is just the tip of the interactive iceberg when it comes to Hollywood voice talent. Next generation games open new opportunities for Hollywood talent. The list of big names that test the interactive waters will continue to grow.

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