Splinter Cell’s Michael Ironside: ‘I Never Left. I Am Sam Fisher’

The veteran actor shared the inspiration for Sam Fisher’s backstory.

“I never left,” declared longtime Splinter Cell voice actor Michael Ironside. “I am Sam Fisher.”

Veteran actor Michael Ironside, best known in video game circles as the voice of Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, appeared on Xbox’s Inside Xbox show to discuss his return to the role of Sam Fisher in the Ghost Recon Wildlands/Splinter Cell crossover, called Special Operation 1, which is free to play this weekend. During the interview, he discussed how he initially turned down the role of Fisher. “Sam was this one-line, two-dimensional character,” he said. “There [were] no organics to him.” He then explained how he rewrote the character with original Splinter Cell developer Ubisoft Montreal. “We created a backstory. We created a family [for him], and where he goes, and what he does, and who he trusts.”

Exit Theatre Mode

Above: The trailer for Michael Ironside’s return to the role of Sam Fisher in the Ghost Recon Wildlands/Splinter Cell crossover mission.

Ironside then referenced a real-life encounter with a Ukrainian mercenary at a wedding in the early 1970s that later shaped the backstory he helped infuse into Fisher. He also came close to teasing a brand-new Splinter Cell outing with him in it, concluding the interview by saying, “Let’s see if the storylines allow an organic [way to bring] Sam back.”

Ironside has voiced Sam in every edition of the series since its debut on Xbox in 2002, outside of the most recent entry, Blacklist, where he was replaced by Eric Johnson. Ubisoft cited performance capture concerns related to Ironside’s age as the reason they didn’t bring Ironside back for Blacklist, but it sounds like that will no longer be a roadblock if indeed a new game is greenlit, which, if Amazon Canada listings are to believe, may indeed be the case.

Ryan McCaffrey is IGN’s Executive Editor of Previews and Xbox Guru-in-Chief. Follow him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan, catch him on Unlocked, and drop-ship him Taylor Ham sandwiches from New Jersey whenever possible.

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