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Bethesda Acquires Famous People for its Skyrim Voice Cast

Max Von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, and Joan Allen among the actors tapped for roles in the upcoming RPG.

If you're the sort of person who just can't get into a role-playing game unless a famous person's voice periodically appears to tell you to do a quest or something, then I have wonderful news: famous actors are in Bethesda's upcoming first-person role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I'm guessing his in-game costume will look a bit different than this.

Following in the footsteps of such contemporaries as Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson, veteran Swedish actor Max Von Sydow headlines Skyrim's cast as both the narrator of the game's most recent trailer, and as Esbern, "a chronicler and agent of the Blades who has survived in hiding." Exactly how much Von Sydow we'll get in the game is currently unknown, but when you get the star of such prestigious films as The Seventh Seal, The Exorcist, and Flash Gordon in your game, one would hope you'd get a fair amount of interaction with him.

Elsewhere in the cast, we have Christopher Plummer, the actor most famous for his role in the brilliant 1987 film adaptation of the TV series Dragnet, but also for other, less famous movies like The Sound of Music, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and the upcoming David Fincher adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Plummer will play Arngeir, "a powerful Greybeard elder" among an "order of philosopher monks."

The last of the big three additions is Joan Allen, the woman you should most certainly recognize as Pamela Landy in the Bourne trilogy, the mom from Face/Off, and the bitch-in-heels warden from the surprisingly great Death Race remake. Allen stars as "Delphine, one of the last remaining members of the Blades – an ancient warrior society once sworn to protect the Emperor."

Other, less famous actors in the cast include Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter (who also happens to be married to the head of Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax CEO Robert A. Altman); Babylon 5 star and B-movie queen Claudia Christian; former frequent L.A. Law guest star and voice of Woodhouse on FX's Archer, George Coe; Battlestar: Galactica's Michael Hogan; the woman who played Simone in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (Diane Salinger); Weeds regular Renee Victor; and Czech bad-guy-for-hire (see his work on everything from MacGyver to Angel) Vladimir Kulich.

That's a lot of famous people, but Bethesda still has a long way to go if it wants to match up with the L.A. Noire voice cast, which boasts roughly ten famous people for every minute of gameplay. And as we all know, the number of popular actors contained in a video game is a direct analog to its level of quality. It's science.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

If you're the sort of person who just can't get into a role-playing game unless a famous person's voice periodically appears to tell you to do a quest or something, then I have wonderful news: famous actors are in Bethesda's upcoming first-person role-playing game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I'm guessing his in-game costume will look a bit different than this.

Following in the footsteps of such contemporaries as Patrick Stewart and Liam Neeson, veteran Swedish actor Max Von Sydow headlines Skyrim's cast as both the narrator of the game's most recent trailer, and as Esbern, "a chronicler and agent of the Blades who has survived in hiding." Exactly how much Von Sydow we'll get in the game is currently unknown, but when you get the star of such prestigious films as The Seventh Seal, The Exorcist, and Flash Gordon in your game, one would hope you'd get a fair amount of interaction with him.

Elsewhere in the cast, we have Christopher Plummer, the actor most famous for his role in the brilliant 1987 film adaptation of the TV series Dragnet, but also for other, less famous movies like The Sound of Music, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and the upcoming David Fincher adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Plummer will play Arngeir, "a powerful Greybeard elder" among an "order of philosopher monks."

The last of the big three additions is Joan Allen, the woman you should most certainly recognize as Pamela Landy in the Bourne trilogy, the mom from Face/Off, and the bitch-in-heels warden from the surprisingly great Death Race remake. Allen stars as "Delphine, one of the last remaining members of the Blades – an ancient warrior society once sworn to protect the Emperor."

Other, less famous actors in the cast include Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter (who also happens to be married to the head of Bethesda's parent company, Zenimax CEO Robert A. Altman); Babylon 5 star and B-movie queen Claudia Christian; former frequent L.A. Law guest star and voice of Woodhouse on FX's Archer, George Coe; Battlestar: Galactica's Michael Hogan; the woman who played Simone in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (Diane Salinger); Weeds regular Renee Victor; and Czech bad-guy-for-hire (see his work on everything from MacGyver to Angel) Vladimir Kulich.

That's a lot of famous people, but Bethesda still has a long way to go if it wants to match up with the L.A. Noire voice cast, which boasts roughly ten famous people for every minute of gameplay. And as we all know, the number of popular actors contained in a video game is a direct analog to its level of quality. It's science.

Staff
Posted by Hughes

interesting

Posted by Legend

@Hughes said:

interesting

Very.

Posted by Thor_Molecules

I saw a mudcrab the other day.

Posted by dr_mantas

STOP criminal scum!

I've fought mudcrabs more fearsome than you!

Posted by Winternet

Please, please, please make Max von Sydow the narrator.

Posted by Yummylee

I want a Sean Connery voiced Dragon.

Posted by mossman93

The headline makes it sound like Bethesda actually purchased these people.

Posted by beat

Great, so we'll have famous people and then two other no-name voice actor/actress to cover every single other NPC in the game. At least if Oblivion and Fallout 3 are anything to go by.

We don't need famous people! I love Max Von Sydow as much as any other cinema junkie, but you don't need his name to make a good game!

Posted by Swoxx

It's sad how I've almost always read all this info in the forums first

Posted by WonderboyCoz

wait, Alex thinks Dragnet is more famous than The Sound of Music?

...anyway, glad to see Skyrim with a nice variety of vocal talent

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

They can't top Patrick Stewart.

Posted by cjdunn

Bethesda dropping a significant amount of coin here.

Posted by bkbroiler

You are in violation of the law!

Posted by Aishan

@Mr_Skeleton said:

They can't top Patrick Stewart.

Well, hopefully these people will be in the game for more than 15 minutes.

Posted by mordukai

@beat said:

Great, so we'll have famous people and then two other no-name voice actor/actress to cover every single other NPC in the game. At least if Oblivion and Fallout 3 are anything to go by.

We don't need famous people! I love Max Von Sydow as much as any other cinema junkie, but you don't need his name to make a good game!

I think it's more for the tradition sake of it. Kinda like how Pixar uses John Ratzenberger in every movie they make. Besides, it's only going to be a small rule anyways.

Posted by steelknight2000

Well met.

Posted by HatKing

@beat: True, but having practiced actors (who the company knows will do their jobs) certainly doesn't make it any harder to create an immersive story.

Posted by WonderboyCoz

@beat: Actually, I believe Skyrim uses over 70 different voice actors, so a few famous people for big roles and over 60 for other npcs.

Posted by Sammo21

I still think overall Oblivion had a more exciting cast list. I could be wrong, but thinking back it feels like it.

Posted by Iskandar

Ok, I really have to say, I'm loving the flow and quality of Giantbomb's news articles! Feels great to have subscribed!

Posted by Vexxan

Patrick Stewart's pretty cool.

Posted by LoktarOgar

I bet both Plummer and von Sydow will die within 15 minutes of their introduction. 
 
Or at the very least get introduced at the start, only to disappear all the way until the ending.

Posted by GreggD

FUCK YEAH, VIGO

Posted by Rirse

I hope we have more then variety of voices this time. New Vegas didn't seem to suffer from the Oblivion problem, but we never know.

Posted by Kucheeky

Michael Hogan? Fuck yes. I loved him as Saul in BSG. <3

Posted by DaemonBlack

@Buckfitches said:

I saw a mudcrab the other day.

Nasty little things.

Posted by AiurFlux

Well it'll probably be better than the 10 people that were out in the parking lot that Bethesda had do 95% of the voice-work for Oblivion.

Although it's also hard to top Patrick Stewart and Sean Bean. Stewart has one of the best voices ever, behind other greats like Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, Sean Connery, and a few others. As for Sean Bean he just... fit. I didn't even know it was Boromir until I was told it was Boromir. But it's still good news nonetheless that Sydow is in Skyrim.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

You forgot two things in the article:

1) How much Michael Hogan looks like an older Brad Shoemaker, and...

2) Strange Brew references.

Other than that, awesome news.

Moderator
Posted by Jawshua

No idea who any of these people are.

Posted by falling_fast

@Swoxx said:

It's sad how I've almost always read all this info in the forums first

mm, yeah.

Posted by SpartanAmbrose

As long as it's not the same 3 or 4 voices over and over again, I'm happy.

Posted by gordjt

Um, Sound of Music less famous then Dragnet?

Edited by Anwar

Von Sydows' character dies probably like he does in ever fucking movie he's in.

Posted by MeatSim

I've fought mudcrabs more fearsome then you!

Posted by Scarabus

Come to think of it, the monologue in the Skyrim trailer sounds a lot like von Sydow.

Posted by Drazat

They have the guy who played ming the merciless this makes it a pre order for that fact alone.

Posted by skrutop

Are we sure that Max von Sydow isn't Christopher Plummer's dad?

Posted by ghostNPC

How many voice actors were there in Oblivion?

Posted by csl316

Surprisingly great Death Race remake? Hmm...

Edited by ryanwho

I'll be disappointed if most of the peripheral cast from the Harry Potter movies doesn't show up. About half of them showed up recently to make Page 8, a spy thriller with no killing or car chases. They need real work.

Edited by Hilikus

Linda Carter reprising her roles as Female Nord and Female Orc.

Posted by ryanwho

@Anwar said:

Von Sydows' character dies probably like he does in ever fucking move he's in.

He normally dies about midway through as a plotpoint, or the end as a villain. So he'll be around for a bit. But if his character happens to dawn a crown or happens to be your character's mentor, you can bet he's got a dramatic death in his future.

Posted by Jedted

Frak yes!!! Michael Hogan needs to be in more video games!

Posted by TheGreatGuero

You mean they already have more than Oblivion's 4 voice actors? YAY!!!

Edited by ProfessorEss

@Alex said:

... Archer

For some reason my eye shot right to here in the article and I almost creamed thinking for a second that H. Jon Benjamin was going to be in Skyrim.

(Sorry, I wrestled with it forever in my head but failed to come up with an equally apt but classier synonym for "creamed".)

Posted by cwdawg1224

Robert Altman's the CEO of Zenimax and is married to Wonder Woman?! Wow, even in death this man still amazes.

Posted by Delta_Ass

Let's hope they don't kill them off in the first fifteen minutes.

Posted by Rudeboy217

So stoked. I love Max Von Sydow.

Posted by Delta_Ass

@Jawshua said:

No idea who any of these people are.

You should probably watch more movies.

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