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June 22, 2023

Recasting on a Whole New Level


The recasting of roles in movies, television shows, and video games is an occurrence that is quite common to audiences. This can be quite jarring if this occurs in a live action television or film series, as an actor may be replaced by another actor that doesn’t even resemble them. However, a recast might not be as noticeable if it occurs in an animated property or video game, as normally the voice actor is changed, but the look of the character generally remains the same. It hasn’t been until recently where this more jarring type of recast has made its way to video games.

In November, Sony will be releasing a remastered version of Marvel’s Spider-Man, one of 2018’s best selling games, along with the ultimate addition of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales for their new PlayStation 5 console. Recently, a post was made on Sony’s PlayStation blog, showcasing the updated graphics, new Spider-Man suits, and a clip showing off one of the new remastered cutscenes. Along with these upgrades comes an unexpected change however, that being Peter Parker’s new face.


In the original release of the game, actor Yuri Lowenthal did the voice for Peter Parker/Spider-Man, while actor John Bubniak was the face model that was matched with Yuri’s facial capture and used for the Peter Parker character model. For the remaster, Yuri’s voice remains the same, but John Bubniak has been replaced by model Ben Jordan as the face for Peter Parker. According to the blog post, the change was made in order to get a better match to Yuri’s facial capture.

This change has gained mostly negative reception, with the main criticism being that an early twenties Peter Parker now looks more like he is 15. The new face also just so happens to have a greater resemblance to Tom Holland, who plays Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Whether you like the change or not, or you are just completely indifferent, this is a type of recasting that no one has really seen before. When you think of actors being recast in video games, generally you think about the voice being changed, but not the look of the character itself. It feels as if in a movie franchise an actor is not only changed for the next installment, but also swapped out of the movie they were originally in by the new actor.

Considering that many developers have been using the faces of real people for the character models in their game for years, and are definitely going to continue to do that, recasts like this might start to become more and more common as the years go on.






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