Splinter Cell protagonist and grumpy badass Sam Fisher is almost as iconic as the goggles he wears, and the gravely, sarcastic performance of veteran actor Michael Ironside made him an instantly recognizable figure. However, developer Ubisoft Toronto opted for a different route in 2013’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, casting the much younger Eric Johnson to fill the role. After fan criticism and a mixed reception to the new take on the character, it looks like we may see Ironside make his return.
Posting on NeoGAF, user “Crossing Eden,” who claims to have two sources familiar with Ubisoft Toronto’s work, says that Ironside was spotted at the developer’s studio last summer while he was in the city to shoot the film The Space Between. Though the main purpose of his time in Toronto was apparently to shoot the film, Ironside reportedly discussed his involvement in the as-of-yet unannounced new Splinter Cell game while on set. The same anonymous source who relayed this reportedly leaked information on Watch Dogs 2 this year, as well.
Plans could have changed, however, as the post also notes that Ubisoft Toronto’s motion-capture studio has also been used for other, non-Splinter Cell projects. Ironside was also in the studio before the announcement of Splinter Cell: Blacklist at E3 2012 to discuss Johnson’s new take on the Sam Fisher character, and said last year in a Reddit AMA that the new casting was “a great idea.”
“I don’t think anyone wants to pay money seeing a 65-year-old Sam Fisher bounce around on set … stumbling while he kills people,” Ironside added at the time.
Perhaps not, but those people certainly still want to hear his rough, intimidating voice. No release window was offered along with the rumor, but seeing as it has been nearly three years since the last installment, we’re crossing our fingers that Ubisoft officially reveals the game soon.