Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Captain Price Could Have Been Scouse
I don't think anybody would disagree with me if I were to say that Captain Price is a modern gaming icon. He is to Call of Duty what Lara Croft is to Tomb Raider, and what Mario is to... Mario games. He is an instantly recogniseable hero with his boonie hat, incredible moustache/beard combo (no you're jealous) and grizzled British accent. But this year's reinvention of the much loved Modern Warfare franchise could have played out very differently for the hardest man in gaming.
At a recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare event in London, we were lucky enough to sit down for a chat with Price's new voice and performance artist Barry Sloane, to dig a little deeper into the process behind bringing the Captain into the modern era. For those unfamiliar, Sloane has worked on a number of films and TV shows portraying hard men and soldiers (including Navy SEALs) in an illustrious acting career.
Barry Sloane is also Scouse.
When recounting the casting process and his eventual taking of the Captain Price moniker from the formidably talented Billy Murray who played him in previous titles, Sloane says he originally wanted the soldier to share his accent:
"I genuinely went in and the first three or four meetings I was heavily going Scouse. I thought 'there's no more Scouse superheroes'."
As is often the case during casting for a film or video game, an actor might not find out who they're specifically reading for until some way into the process. As Sloane reveals, he still wanted Captain Price to be a Merseyside hero after finding out who he was:
"I [knew I] wasn't playing just this general figure or hero-type roll, but even then when I found out it was Price, I still went for it."
Unfortunately, it wasn't to be in the end, as Call of Duty Modern Warfare's developers Infinity Ward wanted to keep the him more in line with the original portrayal of the character. With COD being an international franchise, and Scouse being a particularly niche accent within Britain, you can understand why they might have wanted to keep Price's accent a little more forgiving on ears that aren't familiar with the Liverpudlian lexicon. Something that ultimately, Sloane agreed with:
"I think anything that gets the Scouse accent heard by a mass of people, I'm happy with that but I don't think everybody would have understood what I was saying. If I get excited it goes too high-pitched and goes into [Jamie] Carragher territory, then!"
I for one welcome the idea of opening up British characters in films and games to have much broader accents than the stereotypical 'somewhere near London' we often get stuck with. Cornish Lara Croft? Get on, my lover! Yorkshire Tracer? Eeh by gum! The guy from Red Dead Redemption 2 that's looking for his mate Gavin but he's from Tyneside? Ha'way the lads!
Featured Image Credit: Activision