Before Kojima joined the project, MercurySteam envisaged Gabriel Belmont as a generic barbarian-type hero played by lout laureate Gerard Butler. After all, when you're talking about muscular, shorts-wearing dudes whose idea of a good time is harassing foreigners and smashing bottles all over the place, it makes sense that they should descend from a line of meatheaded, medieval frat-boys, right? Madness?! This! Is! Transylvania!!!
However, when the 300 actor became unavailable, recasting was necessary. With Kojima stressing that the character needed much more work – particularly with some of the Metal Gear-esque character twists that would follow – the team redesigned Gabriel as a more nuanced, brooding Gothic hero, with the newfound vocal talent to match. Who'd they pick, then?