Here’s a real wholesome story to cheer up your afternoon, especially for God of War: Ragnarok fans.
It’s not possible these days to make massive multi-million games — or hundreds of millions, as is the case for Sony’s biggest first party exclusives — without some serious investment into voice acting and motion capture. We already know actors spent 2,200 days doing all the capture work for Red Dead Redemption 2, with the motion capture shoots often going for weeks at a time.
Scripts are getting bigger. Animations are getting more finely detailed. That involves more bodily effort from the actors than ever, so it’s why this surprise note from Christopher Judge — a fan favourite as Teal’C from Stargate: SG-1 and an even bigger fan favourite as Kratos in the God of War reboot — is so heartwarming.
Because Judge did all of the motion capture, as well as the voice acting, the delay makes a ton of sense. Judge’s award-winning performance, and his chemistry with Sunny Suljic (Atreus), helped sell the reboot, and the studio understandably would have seen the merit in waiting for Judge to recover.
It’s worth noting that this was all pre-pandemic, according to the timeline Judge lined out, so there wasn’t even the perceived benefit of delaying to help everyone cope with the pandemic-induced stress.
“[Sony Santa Monica] has never said a word about the delay, and what caused it,” Judge wrote. “Studios are assholes, but this company from top to bottom should give us hope.”
That I can’t talk about, but I’ve said to all involved, it’s not he classiest thing that ive EVER heard about in this business. Everyone involved in the GofW franchise puts their hearts and souls in every frame you see. I want thank everyone that’s has allowed me to play…
— Christopher Judge (@iamchrisjudge) September 30, 2021
The touching thing among all of this, too, is how close we came to a different Kratos entirely. When Judge first read the script for God of War, he didn’t realise it was for a video game — and upon discovering that, he almost turned the role down.
“I had done voices in games, but I was deadset on not doing a video game, because it seemed like a reason to just get you to the next fight,” Judge said in a red-carpet interview. “When I read the script for God of War, I had no idea it was God of War. So I asked my agent, and said, ‘Why are you sending me this script? This is an A-list film, it’s obviously going to be straight to offer.’ And they kind of ummed and aahed and asked, ‘Do you like it?'”
Judge, who said he loved it, then asked why his agent sent over a video game script when he was so adamantly against it. “They said, look, they’re changing it, it’s really going to be story driven and character driven. So I went in and, well, the rest is history.”
And now, that studio loved Judge so much they waited for him to recover from knee surgery, dual hip replacements and back surgery.
The games industry often lets its people down. In this instance, at least, it’s nice to know that didn’t happen.
God of War: Ragnarok, complete with Judge returning as Kratos in body, sound and spirit, is due out sometime in 2022.