James Gunn revealed his plans for the new DC Universe last week. With the first phase titled “Gods and Monsters,” it already looks like Gunn has some lofty plans for the comic book adaptations. He has already given us plenty to be excited about, but there is one thing that has people concerned when it comes to a particular idea from the Guardians of the Galaxy director.
Gunn did state that he wanted there to be a harmonious process from now on when making DC films, shows and games, with one actor playing their role in each medium. While this may sound exciting on paper, many have criticized the idea since it was revealed, especially from the gaming community.
So why don’t people love the idea? It would be cool to bring a respected Hollywood actor into a role for a video game, wouldn’t it? Especially if you can see them both on the big screen and then play as them at home. However, there are problems with this concept, and if you take more than one look at it, you’ll find that it’s not as cool as it sounds. Many of these criticisms relate specifically to an actor playing the same role in film or television and then also performing in a video game, because there doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem with a movie star also playing the same role again in front of a camera, but only for a TV show instead of a movie.
The first big problem people take with the idea of actors playing the same roles in movies, shows and games is that it could mean some people will be out of a job. As we recently discovered with the whole Bayonetta 3 Helena Taylor debacle, and also from multiple reports of anime voice actors, voice performances still don’t get the respect they deserve. Despite many having standout performances, especially in the superhero genre such as Tara Strong’s Harley Quinn, Yuri Lowenthal’s Spider-Man and Mark Hamill’s Joker to name a few.
It seems that James Gunn is quite dismissive of the talent that voice actors bring to their performances in video games from his statement that actors will play the same role in all media from now on. This is not to say that a Hollywood actor could not bring the same level of passion and skill to a video game performance, but if you are, say, Robert Pattinson, are you going to care more about voicing your character in a game you are never going to play, or are you going to go all out for the physical performance of the movie and potential TV shows.
Actors playing the same role in movies, films and video games not only puts some jobs at risk, but it also means that the audience can be at the mercy of the actors behind the characters, who can easily decide that they’re going to call it quits for a video game. We’ve seen it before with big names, need I remind you of Peter Dinklage’s performance in Destiny?
These are some of the reasons why people are not overly hyped about James Gunn’s idea of bringing in actors to play the same roles in movies, TV shows and games. Of course, this concept could work out very well, but it seems to ignore the great superhero performances that have come before. As with the rest of the new DCU, it seems we will have to wait and see what happens. However, of all the ideas Gunn has shown, this seems to be the most controversial, especially among game artists and developers, who feel that the talent of voice-acting is being somewhat ignored.