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David Hayter

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David Hayter
Hayter at the 2024 Game On Expo
Other namesSean Barker
  • Actor
  • screenwriter
  • producer
  • director
Years active1993–present

David Hayter is a Canadian-American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He is well known as the English-language voice actor for Solid Snake and Naked Snake in the Metal Gear video game series. He wrote the film X-Men and co-wrote X2 and Watchmen, and was awarded the Saturn Award for Best Writing in 2000 for his work on X-Men. Hayter voiced King Shark on The Flash.

Early life[edit]

Hayter's father, Stephen, worked in the pharmaceutical industry.[1] David Hayter started acting at the age of nine. He spent most of his childhood living around the world, and moved to Kobe at the age of 15, graduating from its international Canadian Academy in 1987. After this, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for two years until transferring to the Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto. He stayed there until the age of 20, when he moved to Hollywood.[2]


Early acting career[edit]

Hayter did some live acting in the early 1990s, most notably in an episode of the sitcom Major Dad, but soon became more interested in voice acting and later landed the role of Captain America in the popular 1994 Spider-Man animated series.[3] 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 the 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.

Metal Gear Solid series[edit]

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 progenitor Naked Snake throughout all the succeeding installments (including spinoffs, re-releases and adaptations) up to and including Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (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 (2008); where he wears the "Solid Eye", the technologically advanced eye patch that the main character wears throughout the game. Outside the Metal Gear series, Hayter also voiced the character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008).

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."[4]

Hayter is one of the few Metal Gear actors to have played and completed the games he's voiced in.[5] According to 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.[citation needed]

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 as the main character for this entry.[6] This was later confirmed when Konami announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be the character's voice during E3 the same year.[7] Hayter has since revealed in an interview that he had to re-audition for the role 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: Snake Eater (2004).[8]

After Kojima's departure from Konami, Hayter would reprise the role in a Metal Gear Solid-themed advertisement for the 2016 Ford Focus SE aired in 2016.[9] In 2018, Hayter provided the character'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.[10]


In 2000, he wrote the screenplay for the movie version of X-Men, for which he was awarded the 2000 Saturn Award for Best Writing,[11] and then went on to co-write the screenplay for its sequel X2 with writing team Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris. Shortly after his work on X-Men, Hayter was hired to write and direct a project based on the heroine Black Widow.[12] However, due to the limited success of similar themed films featuring female vigilante protagonists at the time, Marvel withdrew their offer to Hayter stating, "We don't think it's time to do this movie". Hayter's daughter Natasha, born whilst he was writing the Black Widow script, is named after the titular character.[13]

Hayter also wrote an adaptation of the graphic novel Watchmen by Alan Moore and David Gibbons. Noted for being a harsh critic of translations of his works to film, Moore said of the script "David Hayter's screenplay was as close as I could imagine anyone getting to [a film version of] Watchmen. That said, I shan't be going to see it. My book is a comic book. Not a movie, not a novel. A comic book. It's been made in a certain way, and designed to be read a certain way."[14] Hayter and writer Alex Tse shared credit on the finished screenplay. Tse drew "the best elements" from two of the project's previous drafts written by Hayter.[15] The script did not keep the contemporary atmosphere that Hayter created, but instead returned to the original Cold War setting of the Watchmen comic.[16] Warner Bros. was amenable to the 1980s setting, and the director also added a title montage sequence to introduce the audience to the events of alternate history United States in that time period.[17]

On September 7, 2012, it was announced that Hayter would pen the screen adaptation Caught Stealing, and would star Patrick Wilson and Alec Baldwin.[18]

On September 13, 2012, Hayter began filming on his directorial debut, Wolves.[19]

On July 8, 2013, Hayter was hired by Lakeshore Entertainment to write the film The Sword, based on the Image Comics series.[20]


On August 7, 2013, it was announced Hayter was developing a television show on Fox tentatively titled World War III, about a fiction global conflict that chronicles "a perfect storm of world events places us in the center of a global battle which may bring the world as we know it to an end." Hayter will be writing the series' story bible and pilot episode, as well as producing and serving as showrunner.[21]

On September 28, 2018, Hayter announced he was co-writing and producing the upcoming Netflix series Warrior Nun, based on the 1994 comic book series Warrior Nun Areala, with Simon Barry serving as series creator and showrunner.[22] Season 1 debuted on Netflix on July 2, 2020.

On January 31, 2022, it was announced that Hayter would be writing and producing a television adaptation of the 2000 video game American McGee's Alice.[23]


Anime (English dubbing)[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1994 Moldiver Hiroshi Ozora
1996 Rakusho! Hyper Doll Reporter as Sean Barker
They Were Eleven Doricas Soldam IV as Sean Barker
1997 Street Fighter II V Additional Voices as Sean Barker (Animaze dub)
Black Jack Leslie Harris as Sean Barker
1998–2000 Fushigi Yûgi Tamahome / Taka Sukunami / Yoshui as Sean Barker
1998 Giant Robo: The Animation Shoji Gen as Sean Barker
Yu Yu Hakusho: The Movie Kurama as Sean Barker
1999 Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Bernard Wiseman as Sean Barker[24]
2000 The Castle of Cagliostro Arsène Lupin III as Sean Barker (Manga dub)
2000–01 Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure Additional Voices


Year Title Role Notes
1996–97 Spider-Man Captain America TV series; 8 episodes
2006 Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel Solid Snake
2013 Metal Gear Solid 2: Digital Graphic Novel Solid Snake Motion comic adaptation of the Metal Gear Solid 2 graphic novel included as extra content in Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Metal Gear Solid Solid Snake English dub
2001 Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Solid Snake / Iroquois Pliskin English dub
2002 Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem Roman Legionnaire 1 / Roman Legionnaire 2 / Angkor Thom Guard
2004 Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Solid Snake
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Naked Snake English dub
2005 Metal Gear Acid 2 Snake English dub
2006 Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Naked Snake English dub
2008 Super Smash Bros. Brawl Snake English dub
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Old Snake English dub; Also has a live-action cameo playing himself.
2010 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Naked Snake English dub
2011– Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Knight Male[25]
2013 Marvel Heroes Winter Soldier
2013–15 République Daniel Zager
2014 Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty! Mudokons
2015 Dragon Age: Inquisition Lieutenant Renn The Descent DLC
2016 The Long Dark Jeremiah
Deponia Doomsday Old Rufus
2018 Super Bomberman R Solid Snake Bomber / Naked Snake Bomber English dub; Characters added in the Ver. 2.1 update patch, released on June 27, 2018
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Solid Snake[26] English dub; re-uses voice work recorded for Super Smash Bros. Brawl
2019 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Zangetsu, Narrator[27]
2020 Phantom: Covert Ops General Nikolai Zhurov
2020 Yakuza: Like a Dragon Osamu Kashiwagi ("The Bartender") English dub[28]
2020 Super Bomberman R Online Solid Snake Bomber / Naked Snake Bomber / Old Snake Bomber English dub; Old Snake Bomber was added on May 27, 2021
2021 Retroninjacyberassassin Doc Ninja[29] David recorded a few voice lines for Doc Ninja, the healer character,[30] they were added in an update to the early access version.
2023 Synapse Colonel Peter Conrad[31]
2024 Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth Osamu Kashiwagi ("The Bartender"), additional voices English dub[32]
TBD Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater Naked Snake English dub; re-uses voice work recorded for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater[33]

Live action[edit]

Year Film Director Writer Producer Notes
1998 Burn No No Yes Unreleased on home media. Uploaded on David Hayter's Youtube channel on May 2, 2019.[34]
2000 X-Men No Yes No
2002 Lost in Oz No Yes Yes TV movie
The Scorpion King No Yes No
2003 X2 No Yes No
2009 Watchmen No Yes No
2010 Chasm Yes Yes No Short film
2014 Wolves Yes Yes No Directorial debut
2015 A Christmas Horror Story No No Executive
2020 Warrior Nun No Yes Supervising producer 2 episodes
TBA Untitled Voltron live-action film No Yes No

Acting roles[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1993 Major Dad Misha Sarotsky Episode: "From Russia with Like"
1994 Guyver: Dark Hero Sean Barker
Long Shadows Ed's secretary TV movie
1996 The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century Voice Episodes: "Stalemate" and "Total War"
1997 Drive Cop #1
1998 Burn Tom Rice
2000 Wild on the Set Narrator TV series
X-Men Museum Cop
2014 Devil's Mile Toby McTeague
2016–2019 The Flash King Shark 4 episodes
Voice only
2022 Turning Red Additional Voices


Year Webshow Role Notes
2009 Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? Episode: "The Sons of Big Boss"
Voice only
2017 The Jimquisition Episode: "Slay to Pay"
Voice only
2018 Boundary Break Solid Snake Episode: "Metal Gear Solid"[35]
2019 Khonjin House Solid Snake Episode: "Infiltrator 2"
Voice only
2022 Did You Know Gaming? Narrator Episode: "Metal Gear Solid's Cut Content"[36]
Episode: "Metal Gear Solid's Insane Cut Content"[37]
Voice only


  1. ^ "Inside information. My father worked in this industry his entire life. #WearAMask". Twitter. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  2. ^ Crew, TWiG. "TWiG – David Hayter Special Interview".[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "A chat with Solid Snake: David Hayter on Marvel Heroes, voice acting, and if video game movies will ever be good". PCGamesN. March 10, 2015.
  4. ^ Fitch, Andrew (May 7, 2008). "Anime Expo: David Hayter Critical of Some MGS Moments". 1UP.com. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "UK PSP". Archived from the original on January 17, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2006.
  6. ^ Narcisse, Evan (March 27, 2013). "Beloved Solid Snake Voice Actor Says He Wasn't Asked to Be in Metal Gear Solid V". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  7. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (June 6, 2013). "Kiefer Sutherland Playing Snake in Metal Gear Solid V". IGN. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  8. ^ Carson, Ben (March 25, 2016). "The Inside Story Of Recording Metal Gear Solid". Game Informer. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "David Hayter reprises Metal Gear Solid role in Ford commercials". Eurogamer.net. April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  10. ^ Hilliard, Kyle. "David Hayter Is Voicing Snake For His Return In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate". Game Informer. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Past Saturn Awards". The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010.
  12. ^ "Could Marvel revive Black Widow film?". Digital Spy. July 21, 2014.
  13. ^ McMillan, Graeme (February 28, 2010). "How Aeon Flux Killed Black Widow and Made Iron Man 2 the Movie it is Today". i09.
  14. ^ Jensen, Jeff (October 21, 2005). "Watchmen: An Oral History". Entertainment Weekly.
  15. ^ Gregory Ellwood (July 18, 2006). "World awaits Watchmen". Variety. Retrieved September 23, 2006.
  16. ^ "Exclusive: Zack Snyder talks Watchmen". Empire. October 5, 2006. Retrieved October 5, 2006.
  17. ^ Patrick Lee (November 9, 2006). "Snyder: Watchmen Remains True". Sci Fi Wire. Archived from the original on September 1, 2007. Retrieved November 9, 2006.
  18. ^ McClintock, Pamela (September 7, 2012). "The Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  19. ^ "Dark Horizons". Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  20. ^ Sneider, Jeff (July 8, 2013). "'Watchmen' Writer David Hayter to Adapt 'The Sword' for Lakeshore". The Wrap. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  21. ^ Marnell, Blair. "Fox Starts 'World War III' With David Hayter". Crave Online. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Hayter, David (September 28, 2018). "I am so proud... To finally announce this secret, badass show I've been co-writing. WARRIOR NUN". Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "'X-Men' Scribe David Hayter Boards TV Adaptation of EA's 'American McGee's Alice' Game (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  24. ^ "Buried Treasure - Gundam 0080". July 8, 2023.
  25. ^ BioWare (December 20, 2011). Star Wars: The Old Republic. Electronic Arts, LucasArts. Scene: closing credits, 9:50 in, English Cast.
  26. ^ Hayter, David (June 12, 2018). "Tweet". @DavidBHayter. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  27. ^ ArtPlay. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. 505 Games. Scene: Ending credits, 18:04 and 18:13 in, English Voice Actors.
  28. ^ Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio. Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Sega. Scene: Ending credits, 0:34.
  29. ^ An00bus. Retroninjacyberassassin. Scene: Credits Screen.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ Hayter, David (October 10, 2021). "Doc Ninja". Mod DB. Retrieved February 27, 2022.
  31. ^ Shepherd, James (May 24, 2023). "Immersive PS VR2 action-shooter, Synapse, launches on July 4". PlayStation.Blog. Retrieved May 25, 2023.
  32. ^ "David Hayter (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved February 26, 2024. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  33. ^ Ampoloquio, Ray (June 1, 2023). "Konami will reuse the original voice lines for Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater". xfire.com. Retrieved October 12, 2023.
  34. ^ "Burn (1998)". Youtube. May 2, 2019. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  35. ^ "Off Camera Secrets | Metal Gear Solid - Boundary Break Ft. David Hayter". YouTube. Shesez. January 5, 2018. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  36. ^ "Metal Gear Solid's Cut Content Ft. David Hayter". YouTube. DidYouKnowGaming?. April 9, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  37. ^ "Metal Gear Solid's Insane Cut Content Ft David Hayter [NEW]". YouTube. DidYouKnowGaming?. September 11, 2022. Retrieved September 11, 2022.

External links[edit]