David Bryan Hayter (born February 6, 1969) is a Canadian-American actor, voice actor, screenwriter, director and producer. He is well known as the English voice actor for Solid Snake and Naked Snake throughout many titles in the Metal Gear video game series. His works as a screenwriter include X-Men, X2, Watchmen and Black Widow.
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 1994, straight-to-video movie, Guyver: Dark Hero, as the protagonist, Sean Barker (a role he took over from the previous actor, Jack Armstrong), Hayter has since gone on to use the character's name as an alias in various work credits.
Hayter began providing the English voice of Metal Gear series protagonist Solid Snake in the 1998 video game Metal Gear Solid, which also served as the series's transition from 2D to 3D. Hayter would go on to play Solid Snake and his predecessor Naked Snake throughout all the succeeding installments (including spinoffs, re-releases, and adaptations) up until Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in 2010. Hayter also has an extended live-action cameo as himself in one of the fictional TV programs prior to the start of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, where he wears the "Solid Eye", the technologically advanced eye patch that Snake wears throughout the game. Outside the Metal Gear series, Hayter also voiced Snake in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
His work with the Metal Gear series 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 cited the 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."
Hayter is one of the few Metal Gear actors to have played and completed the games he's voiced in. According to an interview with Paul Eiding, Hayter gave up half of his own paycheck in order to bring back the cast of the original Metal Gear Solid for the 2004 remake Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
Following the announcement of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in the 2013 Game Developers Conference, Hayter announced that he was not asked to reprise the role of Snake for this entry. This was later confirmed when Konami announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be the new voice of Snake (playing both, Naked Snake, and a new version of the character named Venom Snake) during E3 the same year. Hayter has since revealed in an interview that he had to re-audition for the role in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, suggesting that the series' creator Hideo Kojima was already considering recasting the part much earlier, with Kurt Russell (Snake Plissken in Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.) having been allegedly offered the role during the development of Metal Gear Solid 3.
After Kojima's departure from Konami following the release of The Phantom Pain, Hayter would reprise the role of Snake in a Metal Gear Solid-themed advertisement for the 2016 Ford Focus SE aired in 2016. In 2018, Hayter provided Snake's voice in two video games: Super Bomberman R (which added two playable characters based on both, Solid Snake and Naked Snake, in an update) and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- Street Fighter II V (1995) - Additional Voices (Animaze Dub)
OVAs & Specials
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (1989) - Bernard "Bernie" Wiseman
- Giant Robo: The Animation (1992-1998) - Gen Shoji (ep. 7) (Animaze Dub)
- Moldiver (1993) - Hiroshi Ozora
- Macross Plus (1994-1995) - Isamu Alva Dyson (Bandai Dub; ep. 4)
- Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979) - Arsène Lupin III (Animaze Dub)
- Yu Yu Hakusho: The Golden Seal (1993) - Kurama (Animaze Dub)
Video Game Dubbing
- Metal Gear Solid (1998) - Solid Snake/David