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David Hayter

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Title: David Hayter  
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Subject: X2 (film), Watchmen (film), Solid Snake, List of characters in the Metal Gear series, Saturn Award for Best Writing
Collection: 1969 Births, American Expatriates in Japan, American Male Child Actors, American Male Film Actors, American Male Screenwriters, American Male Television Actors, American Male Video Game Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of Canadian Descent, American Screenwriters, Canadian Expatriates in Japan, Canadian Male Child Actors, Canadian Male Film Actors, Canadian Screenwriters, Living People, Male Actors from Santa Monica, California, Writers from Santa Monica, California
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David Hayter

David Hayter
Born David Bryan Hayter
(1969-02-06) 6 February 1969
Santa Monica, California, United States
Nationality Canadian, American
Occupation Voice actor, screenwriter, actor, director, producer

David Hayter (born February 6, 1969) is a Canadian-American voice and screen actor and screenwriter. He is known as the English voice actor for Solid Snake, and his genetic predecessor Naked Snake, throughout many titles in the Metal Gear video game series. His works as a screenwriter include X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and Watchmen.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Early acting career 2.1
    • Metal Gear series 2.2
    • Filmmaking 2.3
  • Filmography 3
    • Live action 3.1
    • Animation 3.2
    • Video Games 3.3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Hayter was born in California to Canadian parents. He started acting at the age of 9. Hayter spent most of his childhood living around the world and at the age of 15, Hayter moved to Kobe in Japan where he graduated from the Canadian Academy, an international school, in 1987. After high school, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for two years until transferring to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada where he stayed until the age of 20, when he moved to Hollywood.[1]


Early acting career

Hayter did some live acting in the early 1990s, but became interested in voice acting after acting in an episode of the sitcom Major Dad, and later landed the role of Captain America in the popular 1994 Spider-Man animated series. He also provided the voice of Arsène Lupin III in the English version of the anime film The Castle of Cagliostro and the voice of Tamahome in the English version of the anime series Fushigi Yūgi. He also starred in the 1994 straight-to-video movie Guyver: Dark Hero, taking over the role of protagonist Sean Barker from previous actor Jack Armstrong.

Metal Gear series

In 1998, Hayter voiced protagonist Solid Snake in the highly successful video game Metal Gear Solid. He would reprise the role in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (a remake of the original), Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (where the character appears in aged form as Old Snake). Hayter also voiced Solid Snake's genetic predecessor, Naked Snake, who serves as the protagonist in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which were prequels set prior to the events of the original Metal Gear. Hayter has an extended live-action cameo as himself in Metal Gear Solid 4 in one of the fictional TV programs prior to the start of the game. In the scene, he wears the "Solid Eye", the technologically advanced eye patch that Old Snake wears throughout the game.

Hayter is one of the few Metal Gear Solid actors to have played and completed the Metal Gear games he's voiced in,[2] while co-star Christopher Randolph has only played Metal Gear Solid. According to an interview with Paul Eiding, Hayter gave up half of his own paycheck in order to bring back the cast of Metal Gear Solid for Twin Snakes.

His work with Metal Gear Solid has also led Hayter to do voice work in other video game projects such as Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem and Star Wars: The Old Republic. He also cited the Metal Gear Solid series as an influence on his screenwriting, stating that "Kojima and I have different styles," "but I've certainly learned things from him, especially about ambiguity and telling a story without giving all the answers."[3]

Following the announcement of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in 2013, Hayter announced that he was not asked to reprise his role as Snake.[4] This was later confirmed on June 6, when Konami announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be the new voice of Snake.[5]


In 2000 he wrote the screenplay for the movie version of X-Men, and then went on to co-write the screenplay for its sequel X2 with writing team Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Shortly after his work on X-Men, Hayter was hired to write and direct a project based on the heroine Black Widow. However, due to the limited success of similar themed films featuring female vigilante protagonists at the time, Marvel withdrew their offer to Hayter stating, "We don’t think it’s time to do this movie". Hayter's daughter Natasha, born whilst he was writing the Black Widow script, is named after the titular character.

Hayter also wrote an adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons. Noted for being a harsh critic of translations of his works to film, Moore said of the script "David Hayter's screenplay was as close as I could imagine anyone getting to [a film version of] Watchmen. That said, I shan't be going to see it. My book is a comic book. Not a movie, not a novel. A comic book. It's been made in a certain way, and designed to be read a certain way."[6] Hayter and writer Alex Tse shared credit on the finished screenplay. Tse drew "the best elements" from two of the project's previous drafts written by screenwriter Hayter.[7] The script did not keep the contemporary atmosphere that Hayter created, but instead returned to the original Cold War setting of the Watchmen comic.[8] Warner Bros. was amenable to the 1980s setting, and the director also added a title montage sequence to introduce the audience to the events of alternate history United States in that time period.[9]

On September 7, 2012, it was announced that Hayter would pen the screen adaptation Caught Stealing, and would star Patrick Wilson and Alec Baldwin.[10]

On September 13, 2012, Hayter began filming on his directorial debut, Wolves.[11]

On July 8, 2013, Hayter was hired by Lakeshore Entertainment to write the film The Sword, based on the Image Comics series.[12]

On August 7, 2013, it was announced Hayter was developing a television show on Fox tentatively titled World War III, about a fiction global conflict that chronicles “a perfect storm of world events places us in the center of a global battle which may bring the world as we know it to an end.” Hayter will be writing the series' story bible and pilot episode, as well as producing and serving as showrunner.[13]


Live action

Year Film Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1993 Major Dad No No No Yes Misha Sarotsky 1 episode; "From Russia with Like"
1994 Guyver: Dark Hero No No No Yes Sean Barker Main role
Long Shadows No No No Yes Ed's secretary TV movie
1996 The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century No No No Yes ??? (voice) 2 episodes; "Stalemate" and "Total War"
1997 Drive No No No Yes Cop #1
1998 Burn No Yes No Yes Tom Rice Main role
2000 Wild on the Set No No No Yes Narrator TV series
X-Men No No Yes Yes Museum Cop
2002 Lost in Oz No Yes Yes No TV movie
The Scorpion King No No Yes No
2003 X2: X-Men United No No Yes No
2008 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots No No No Yes Himself - Celebrity Moralist
2009 Watchmen No No Yes No
2010 Chasm Yes No Yes No Short
2014 Devil's Mile No No No Yes Toby McTeague Main role
Wolves Yes No Yes No Directorial debut
2015 A Christmas Horror Story No Yes No No Executive producer only
2016 The Flash No No No Yes King Shark Voice Only


Year Title Role Notes
1996-7 Spider-Man: The Animated Series Captain America TV series; 8 episodes
1997 They Were Eleven Doricas Soldam IV 1986 in Japan
1999-2001 Fushigi Yûgi Tamahome / Taka Sukunami / Yoshui TV series; 1995-8 in Japan
2000 The Castle of Cagliostro Arsène Lupin III Originally released in Japan in 1979
Rakusho! Hyper Doll Reporter 1995 in Japan
2000-1 Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure Additional Voices TV series; 1999 in Japan
2001 Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie Kurama 1993 in Japan
Street Fighter II V Additional Voices TV series; 1995 in Japan
Moldiver Hiroshi Ozora 1993 in Japan
2002 Wrath of the Ninja Sakon Hayate 1987 in Japan
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Bernard Wiseman TV mini-series; 1989 in Japan
2004 Giant Robo: The Animation Shoji Gen 1991 in Japan
2009 Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? Snake 1 episode; "The Sons of Big Boss"

Video Games

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Metal Gear Solid Solid Snake
2001 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Solid Snake / Iroquois Pliskin
2002 Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Roman Legionnaire 1 / Roman Legionnaire 2 / Angkor Thom Guard
2004 Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Naked Snake / Jack
2005 Metal Gear Acid 2 Snake
2006 Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Naked Snake
2008 Super Smash Bros. Brawl Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Old Snake / Himself
2010 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Snake / Big Boss
2011 Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Knight Male[14]
2013 Marvel Heroes James "Bucky" Barnes/The Winter Soldier
2013-15 République Daniel Zager
2014 Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! Mudokons
2015 Dragon Age: Inquisition Lieutenant Renn The Descent DLC
The Long Dark
2017 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Gebel


  1. ^ "TWiG – David Hayter Special Interview"
  2. ^ "UK PSP". Retrieved 15 December 2006. 
  3. ^ Fitch, Andrew (May 7, 2008). "Anime Expo: David Hayter Critical of Some MGS Moments". Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  4. ^ Narcisse, Evan (27 March 2013). "Beloved Solid Snake Voice Actor Says He Wasn’t Asked to Be in Metal Gear Solid V".  
  5. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (June 6, 2013). "Kiefer Sutherland Playing Snake in Metal Gear Solid V".  
  6. ^ Jensen, Jeff (2005-10-21). "Watchmen: An Oral History". Entertainment Weekly. 
  7. ^ Gregory Ellwood (2006-07-18). "Watchmen"World awaits .  
  8. ^ "Watchmen"Exclusive: Zack Snyder talks .  
  9. ^ Patrick Lee (2006-11-09). Remains True"Watchmen"Snyder: .  
  10. ^ McClintock, Pamela (7 September 2012). "The Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Dark Horizons". 
  12. ^ Sneider, Jeff. Watchmen' Writer David Hayter to Adapt 'The Sword' for Lakeshore"'". The Wrap. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Marnell, Blair. "Fox Starts ‘World War III’ With David Hayter". Crave Online. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  14. ^  

External links

  • Official website
  • David Hayter at the Internet Movie Database
  • David Hayter at Behind The Voice Actors
  • David Hayter Geeks Out with NERDSociety
  • 10 Questions: David Hayter at IGN
  • This Week In Geek Interview with David Hayter
  • Audio Interview (2010) with The Rafferty/Mills Connection podcast
  • at AMCtv.comWatchmenDavid Hayter Discusses
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