Call of Duty: Black Ops Frank Woods voice actor says Activision didn't reach out to him for Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is bringing back Frank Woods with a new voice actor, and his original performer is frustrated by the change.

The new Black Ops Cold War scene trailer that debuted at Gamescom last week included a few brief lines for the fan-favorite character. He sounded familiar, but not quite the same as he did in Black Ops, Black Ops 2, or Black Ops 4. Activision hasn't revealed who the new voice talent for returning Black Ops characters in Cold War is yet, but previous actor James C. Burns said on his YouTube channel that it isn't him.

The video confirms that Burns was not contacted by Activision about potentially returning to the role, or even given a heads up that his character was being recasted. While Burns respects Activision's right to use whatever talent it wants, he lamented not getting the chance to continue his history with the character - or at least argue for it.

"I'm sure the story's gonna be brilliant, but I've got 80,000 pounds of weight to bring to this thing - and not a knock on whoever they got in there, but he doesn't have the background that I have with Woods," Burns said. "I got 11 years with this guy, and I have all this backstory and all this front-loaded stuff. So that's my frustration.

"Not that this guy's not gonna do a good job, I'm sure he's a professional actor, I'm sure he'll do fine. But I would've fuckin' crushed this thing! That's my frustration, I wish I had a shot at it."

Some fans have speculated that Activision blackballed Burns after he voiced a character for a fan-made Zombies map. However, Burns shot down that rumor on the unofficial Twitter account he maintains for the Frank Woods character.

It looks like the Black Ops Cold War beta is set to being in October, according to recent leaks.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.