Richard Ayoade was Valve's First Choice for Wheatley

#1 Edited by EuanDewar (4925 posts) -

So I was skimming through the Half Life wiki and on Wheatley's Page down in the behind the scenes section it says that Richard Ayoade was the original choice for Wheatley's voice.

I love Richard Ayoade in everything he does but a lot of that comes from his physical performances as well as his voice so I don't know how well he would have done as Wheatley and after experiencing Stephen Merchant in that role its hard to imagine somebody else.

For those not aware of Ayoade's work, this pretty much sums it up:
  


Also on a side note, Matt Berry as Wheatley would have been fucking amazing.
#2 Posted by guyver0 (154 posts) -

dont even joke about Matt Berry being Wheatley... i'm pretty sure the world would of imploded.

#3 Posted by Cirdain (3089 posts) -

I think Stephen in the end was a better choice voice wise. Richard though... love him

#4 Posted by Contro (2040 posts) -

They should have opted for him.

#5 Posted by smiddy (359 posts) -

Merchant did a great job, but his brand of comedy is so consistent throughout everything he does (and near identical to his partner Gervais) that I became tired of it a long time ago.


Wheatley more or less WAS Merchent and so there were times in the game when it really began to drain me of patience and I was just hoping for his segment to finish.

I think Ayoade would have created a much more interesting character. There's always Portal 3 I guess!
#6 Posted by DelroyLindo (387 posts) -

Matt Berry has the best voice ever

#7 Posted by Toms115 (2316 posts) -

turned out for the best, i guess. merchant was terrific.

#9 Posted by fraser (478 posts) -

You and he were, buddies, weren't you?

#10 Posted by TheBlindChessman (241 posts) -

Saying "first choice" makes it sound as if Valve wanted Ayoade, couldn't get him, and then went with Merchant. From what I've read this isn't the case.

From the interview that the wiki you linked to cites as a source:

Was he the first person you thought about for the role?

Erik: We had him in our heads when we were writing, because we’d been watching Extras and we really liked him. We wrote the character with him in mind not ever thinking we’d be able to cast him. In fact we’d been in contact with Graham Linehan, the writer of The IT Crowd, because we were thinking of getting Richard Ayoade in, but he’s got a very different vocal style than Stephen Merchant. We thought we’d go to Stephen Merchant’s agents first and see if he’s interested, and he said yes. It was kind of a side-step into our dream casting.

We’re big British comedy fans, we knew we wanted a proper British comedic voice for this character. Who that would be however was sort of up in the air until we actually cast Stephen.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/8359173/Portal-2-developer-interview-Chet-Falisek-and-Erik-Wolpaw.html 
#11 Posted by Venatio (4491 posts) -

Merchant is awesome as Wheatley, I'm glad they ended up with him

#12 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

GIANT BOMB IS ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!!

Stephen Merchant as Wheatley is uber-annoying. There's a certain smugness, a certain self awareness of the role he's playing which is irritating. Dean Lerner would have been my main go to man, when you want a professional job done, whether voice acting, or running a world class hospital unit in Wolverhampton, Lerner's your man.

#13 Edited by ryanwho (12082 posts) -

Wheatley was fine, internet.

Also the IT Crowd is fucking dumb. Its English Big Bang Theory.
#14 Edited by TMThomsen (2074 posts) -
@FourWude: I disagree. I think Merchant's performance is the most authentic piece of voiceover ever. It was all so very natural; lots of "ums" and repeated words mid-sentence. It was like hearing a real person talking - not a Hollywood actor.

...Perhaps bit weird when it's coming from a robot now that I think about it. Terrific performance nontheless!
#15 Posted by Icemael (6320 posts) -

I think they made the right choice.

#16 Posted by AlmostApollo (71 posts) -

I love Merchant Wheatley, but dang do I love Richard Ayaode. They couldn't have gone wrong either way.

#17 Posted by AlmostApollo (71 posts) -
@ryanwho: Also, I think you should give the IT Crowd a second chance. It really grows on you and becomes truly great.
#18 Posted by Tregard (140 posts) -
@ryanwho said:
" Wheatley was fine, internet.
Also the IT Crowd is fucking dumb. Its English Big Bang Theory.
"
I was about to nerdrage on this, but I'll just put it down in three points:
- IT Crowd was created first by almost a year
- Written by Graham Linehan, one of the people behind Father Ted and Black Books
- British Humor, may not appeal
#19 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I'm sure Ayoade would have been great but now I can't imagine anybody else as Wheatley, the placeholder voicework for him just seems really weird to me now.

and The IT Crowd has some great moments, I definitely prefer it to The Big Bang Theory. Although it has gotten a bit worse since the last series but still pretty good comedy.

  

  That episode was genius.
#20 Posted by ryanwho (12082 posts) -
@Tregard said:
" @ryanwho said:
" Wheatley was fine, internet.
Also the IT Crowd is fucking dumb. Its English Big Bang Theory.
"
I was about to nerdrage on this, but I'll just put it down in three points:- IT Crowd was created first by almost a year- Written by Graham Linehan, one of the people behind Father Ted and Black Books- British Humor, may not appeal "
You can chalk it up to the humor being too subtle and tongue in cheek if you want. I don't get Benny Hill either.
#21 Posted by Sanj (2390 posts) -

I like Richard Ayoade, but i'm glad they went with Smerch. He was absolutely brilliant.

#22 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -
@ryanwho said:

" @Tregard said:

" @ryanwho said:
" Wheatley was fine, internet.
Also the IT Crowd is fucking dumb. Its English Big Bang Theory.
"
I was about to nerdrage on this, but I'll just put it down in three points:- IT Crowd was created first by almost a year- Written by Graham Linehan, one of the people behind Father Ted and Black Books- British Humor, may not appeal "
You can chalk it up to the humor being too subtle and tongue in cheek if you want. I don't get Benny Hill either. "
Subtle humour doesn't seem to go down that well in the US, I think it's one of the reasons Arrested Development got canned. What a mistake that was.

Shit like How I Met Your Mother still steamrolls along though, that hasn't been funny in a while and even Barney is getting incredibly old.
#23 Edited by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

Richard Ayoade would have been awesome. But the guy they picked wasn't too shabby either.

#24 Edited by ShaneDev (1696 posts) -

The role was written for Merchant but Valve thought they wouldn't get him and started to think of alternatives but then Merchant said yes. That story was posted here in the first page.  Merchant was brilliant in that role which was well written, the character was one of the best things in the game. I do not think Ayoade would have been as good, and besides isn't he a director now.


EDIT: Also Merchant is basically playing his character from Extras which he was also great on.

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