Who here remembers the travesty that was the Last Airbender movie? Audiences accused director M. Night Shayamalan of “racebending” and casting white actors in the roles of decidedly Inuit characters, Indians as Japanese characters, and so on. The Internet made a big (and deserving) stink about it and became a little more eagle-eyed when it comes to the race of actors. What does this have to do with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Apparently Ubisoft isn’t just setting the game in ancient Greece, it’s also casting as many Greek actors as possible.
Earlier today, VG247 broke the news that Ubisoft Assassin Creed Odyssey’s audio director Lydia Andrew decided that hiring Greek actors would make the game more authentic.
“What we tried to do was look for actors who are Greek or have Greek ancestry,” explained Andrew (who apparently relayed the news to the original article’s author, Kirk McKeand, during E3). “We really felt like it was a nice opportunity for us to have a deep drive into the culture of Greece and obviously Ancient Greece…you can have a great actor who’s great at accents, and that’s fantastic, but you can also find great Greek actors and work with them too.”
Andrew was clearly referring to actors from past Assassin’s Creed games. Take Roger Craig Smith, for example. He’s an American voice actor and best known for his roles as Sonic the Hedgehog, Chris Redfield, and various incarnations of Batman, including the Batman from the game Batman: Arkham Origins and the recent Batman Ninja movie. He also brought Ezio Auditore da Firenze, an obviously Italian man with an accent that might have been Italian, to life. It’s an iconic role any gamer can identify immediately, but it’s certainly not played by an Italian (or Italian American) actor.
Compare Smith to, say, the actors of the main characters from Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Kassandra will be voiced by Melissanthi Mahut, while Alexios will be portrayed by Michael Antonakos. They aren’t the game’s only Greek actors, though; they will be joined by the Canadian-Greek actor Elias Toufexis, who many gamers will likely recognize as the voice of Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution/Mankind Divided. And these likely aren’t the only Greek actors who will voice roles in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will release October 5th, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One.