Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Dev Considered Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston
Sledgehammer Games says it "always" had Kevin Spacey in mind, but also considered Breaking Bad actor and Brad Pitt.
Upcoming shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare features Oscar-winning House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey in a lead role, but if he had said no to the project, who else was up for consideration? Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey says that while Spacey was "always" the company's top choice for the role of Jonathan Irons, the studio also considered award-winning Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston and Brad Pitt.
"At one point, at the height of Breaking Bad, I thought this could be a [Bryan] Cranston role," Condrey told IGN in a wide-ranging interview about Advanced Warfare and Sledgehammer Games. "Bobby Kotick, the president of Activision, is close to Angelina and Brad, so you kind of have these pie in the sky sort of, well, if this actor… But really, for the character, [on] the list the gap between Kevin and everybody else was pretty wide. Cranston just won the Emmy so he's clearly a remarkable actor. I think he would have been great."
Irons is the ironfisted president of Atlas Corporation, a private military company that will be featured prominently in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The character, modeled after Spacey, was featured heavily in the game's announcement trailer, where we hear his extended thoughts about geopolitics.
Spacey is a veteran and celebrated actor, who has appeared in numerous films, including American Beauty and The Usual Suspects, for which he won Academy Awards. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first video game he's ever worked on.
The interview also touches on Sledgehammer Games' canceled third-person Call of Duty title. Condrey reveals that the game was codenamed Fog of War, and says it was described as "Call of Duty with the playstyle of Uncharted." Condrey said gamers are champing at the bit for a game like that because, compared to first-person games like Call of Duty, "there are some things that third-person can do that's really compelling when you see your character on-screen."
As we previously learned, Fog of War was set during the Vietnam War. Condrey says about the game, "It was really taking our passion for Call of Duty with our experience and expertise from Dead Space and bringing that together to offer fans a new Call of Duty way to play."
The story about what happened to the game is now well-known. As Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward struggled after Activision fired founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, the publisher tapped Sledgehammer to help finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It was a tough decision to abandon Fog of War, but working on Modern Warfare 3 was an "opportunity we just couldn't pass up," Condrey said.
Asked why Sledgehammer moved on to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare after Modern Warfare 3 instead of returning to Fog of War, Condrey said, again, that the opportunity to lead development on a Call of Duty game for new platforms was too thrilling to pass up. Regarding Fog of War, Condrey said, "In our hearts, there's probably a place for that game. You never want to say in absolute terms that you wouldn't go back to it."
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email firstname.lastname@example.org