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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:24pm 18/06/13 | 47 Comments
Mad Max was a bit of a surprise to see out at E3 this year, and I'd be lying if I said I'd never wanted to play a game based in that universe -- it's ripe for the videogame picking, after all with everything the first two films gave us.

What thoroughly irked me during the presentation of the game by new developer, Avalanche Studios (it was originally being worked on by KMM's in-house, Sydney-based games studio), was that Max was voiced by an American. In fact, it was really uncomfortable to sit through given the studio talked passionately about treating cars and car-combat in the game with respect given the movie heritage and its impact on pop-culture.

I asked them after the presentation what the decision behind that was, and if they'd change it, but was met with "we wanted someone generic", and a bit of a shrug regarding any sort of reverence to the character in the same way they're giving vehicles.

So we've started a petition.

Max is an important part of Australian cinema and pop-culture history, even globally. The character's man-of-few words persona made (admittedly US-born) Mel Gibson's Australian accent a hugely memorable and significant factor of the films. All we're asking is that Avalanche look for an Australian voice-actor who can channel the stoic film icon, and treat the property with the respect it deserves. If you feel the same way, please check out our petition on Change.org and get as many people involved as possible.

For more on the game, check out our game page and stay tuned for impressions of what Avalanche is doing beyond ignoring the importance of Max, soon.



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Latest Comments
natslovR
Posted 12:28pm 18/6/13
Even a kiwi speaking aussie would do
Fasty
Posted 12:59pm 18/6/13
How much of the rest of the game seemed true to the movie universe? The quick e3 trailer didn't really give me a Mad Max vibe at all. Indeed, it all felt rather "generic".
Reverend Evil
Posted 12:59pm 18/6/13
I'd rather go with an American voice. I always cringe when I hear an Aussie accent in movies when all the other accents are American. Just sounds wrong.
groganus
Posted 01:13pm 18/6/13
The worst version of the mad max films are the ones the Americans dubbed... Sadly most the people outside of Australia heard this poor dubbing rather than the original Australian Actors voices.. :(
Fasty
Posted 01:15pm 18/6/13
That's called cultural cringe, it's not a good thing, and worthwhile getting over. Took me a while to do too.
eski
Posted 01:16pm 18/6/13
Yeah, the voice actors in FF13 and Uncharted 3 were f*****g horrid, and the chick in Uncharted was an Aussie, yet she didnt sound like anyone I've ever met.
Fasty
Posted 01:28pm 18/6/13
Just read the petition, really well written! Signing right now.
TufNuT
Posted 01:48pm 18/6/13
you might want to also get a post up on /r/gaming/ might get more exposure/signatures..

just a suggestion.
deadlyf
Posted 02:00pm 18/6/13
Why can't they just make the game the way they want and you not buy it?
justrev
Posted 02:01pm 18/6/13
If we spoke another language we would hear our own accent on all translated games, it's not right that we don't have Australian casts for more games.
I am so sick of hearing Americans telling me what to do.
Sometimes I turn off the voices and use the closed captioning
HurricaneJim
Posted 03:31pm 18/6/13
The appropriate accent for the character;

In World of Tanks they have pseudo Belarusian-American voice acting for all the tanks, Weird in American Tanks, totally wrong in British tanks, Stupid in Russian, insulting in German and really dumb in French and Chinese tanks.

Having Max as an American is just pig ingnorant.
Fasty
Posted 04:21pm 18/6/13
Actually... remembering the TERRIBLE accents and voice acting in Just Cause 2, maybe we should be thankful they're not including an "Australian" one in Mad Max
tel
Posted 05:46pm 18/6/13
I was horrified when i heard that they dubbed the Mad Max movie for an American release, talk about ruining a cult classic. Same with the game, it won't be the real Mad Max will it.
groganus
Posted 05:51pm 18/6/13
I was horrified when i heard that they dubbed the Mad Max movie for an American release, talk about ruining a cult classic. Same with the game, it won't be the real Mad Max will it.


You do understand that its a cult classic all over the world, not just in Australia.. Thus the dubbing is part of the classicness... We Australians are just snobs and don't like our s*** meddled with, but to everyone else this is going to seem normal.]

I'd love to see Australian voice work in lots of games, but we don't really have that many big studios around any more that could potentially lead the way with this kind of thing.

I'm perfectly fine with MadMax being an american in the game, id rather see the game have success world wide than just itty bitty Australia.. lets face it, we will be the only ones who care.
mouser
Posted 06:31pm 18/6/13
I want John Jarratt to voice this
ThunderBunny
Posted 06:35pm 18/6/13
whats wrong with not wanting our s*** meddled with? this is another axample of americanisation. we have to put up with their annoying accent in every form of media. why cant we insist on keeping ours untouched. ignorance!
Deemsee
Posted 06:57pm 18/6/13
Dev's are pissing all over a lot of IPs right now....Batman Origins, Metal Gear V, not much surprise they are doing it again. Has even a single petition ever work in these circumstances? Nope.

I'm pretty sure that the creator of the characters, James McCausland, is an Aussie - this is the guy you want to protest to the Devs!
Deemsee
Posted 07:06pm 18/6/13
Sorry for the double post - but this s*** makes me livid.

Vote with your wallet people. I'm pretty sure there is a line in Mad Max (one of 'em) ...'Money talks...bulls*** walks...'
E.T.
Posted 08:19pm 18/6/13
This guy could pull this off I reckon

http://www.youtube.com/embed/grh0tlJtViw

last edited by Dan at 13:14:00 19/Jun/13
Scooter
Posted 09:09pm 18/6/13
Can you imagine someone trying/having an 'Aussie Occa' accent in a game?
F*** listening to that noise, generic is fine by me.
ThunderBunny
Posted 10:03pm 18/6/13
I don't recall anyone whinging about the british sas characters in COD actually having british voices. Infact they worked well and would be an insult if they were any other accent than what is fitting to the characters. The assumption that an Australian voice for an Australian character can be nothing other than some westie bogan is absurd.
kos
Posted 10:09pm 18/6/13
Can you imagine someone trying/having an 'Aussie Occa' accent in a game? F*** listening to that noise, generic is fine by me.

Why does it have to be 'Aussie Occa' or nothing with Australian accents though? It's just that it's primarily used to push a stereotype.

It is possible to have an authentic Australian accent without the person talking exclusively out of their nose and constantly saying things like "yer a f*****' carrrnt, mate".
Steve Farrelly
Posted 10:09pm 18/6/13
We're getting off topic here - last time I watched Mad Max, he never sounded like that, nor said s*** like "yer a f*****' carrrnt, mate"
kos
Posted 10:14pm 18/6/13
But that was the point. People are saying that they'd rather generic American over people talking like that, as though it's the only option if you have an Australian actor voice the character.
Dan
Posted 06:33am 19/6/13
It really is bollocks that Australian actors can't be handled just fine in a big budget game, there just seems to be a big corporate focus-group mentality that they won't be as popular to the primary US market.

Sadly the only good remotely recent example I can think of is Chloe Frazer in Uncharted, voiced by Claudia Black, completely non-bogan, natural and refined Australian accent that didn't ham it up.

It's kind of s*** that they didn't have Yvonne Strahovski with her natural accent as Miranda in Mass Effect, as other humans in that game have an assortment of accents, so wouldn't have been out of place.Edit: I'm a derp, she did, and it seems it was so not out-of-place that I recalled it incorrectly.
Taipan
Posted 12:32am 19/6/13
The worst version of the mad max films are the ones the Americans dubbed... Sadly most the people outside of Australia heard this poor dubbing rather than the original Australian Actors voices.. :(



Yep i totally agree, i had the misfortune of seeing the american dubbed version for the first and last time only just last week and it was frigging horrible.

Who ever said even a kiwi would be ok needs a kick in the balls. No kiwi ever sounded ok .... ever. Actually that would have to be a troll surely.
fpot
Posted 12:33am 19/6/13
Zoe Bell sounds pretty alright to me.
Hollow Gr4m
Posted 02:57am 19/6/13
WTF man. How can people be against having an Australian Accent, talk about self hate. There are plenty of nice aussie male accents you could use, something along the lines of Hugh Jackman or something. I thought Miranda was Australian in ME2? Is she seriously meant to be something else? Sounds completely Aussie to me.
Hollow Gr4m
Posted 03:01am 19/6/13
Also this isn't just about accents, this is the best chance Australia has EVER had to be put on the video game map, finally a game could be set here and no, they f*** it up, just so stupid. I'm so disappointed.
Dan
Posted 06:57am 19/6/13
You're right about Miranda Hollow Gr4m. I feel like a knob for being that wrong, but kind of vindicated by the fact that she obviously seemed completely natural in the game, and proves the point for me that Max with an Australian accent should be similarly fine.

I might look into matters more and see if I can drum up an article on Australian voice actors in videogames. I didn't play it, but Strahovski did her Chuck/Dexter cali accent in The 3rd Birthday, and I recall Anna Torv puts on the faux-British fantasy accent as Nariko in Heavenly Sword (which amusingly was replicated by every-game US voice actor Jennifer Hale for PlayStation All-stars).

As for who could actually play the voice of Max. Surely there's no shortage of viable candidates in the US film industry. Not going to be delusional enough to think they could spring for someone like Guy Pearce, or Eric Bana, but someone like Ryan Kwanten, or Liam McIntyre, or probably half of the Spartacus cast for that matter.
WetWired
Posted 07:45am 19/6/13
What kind of accent is in the new movie? I guess that would dictate what the game voice should be?
ravn0s
Posted 08:23am 19/6/13
tom hardy is the new mad max. not sure if he's using his brit accent or not.
ThunderBunny
Posted 08:48am 19/6/13
tom hardy in a bain mask playing humungus would work for me: "just walk away, and we will spare your lives".
Taipan
Posted 08:57am 19/6/13
Lol i think youre onto something there bane as humungous would be spot on :-)
TufNuT
Posted 02:08pm 19/6/13
Taipan
Posted 02:08pm 19/6/13
I was about to mention that myself, just ran across the story and saw that Steve got a mention.
ThunderBunny
Posted 02:32pm 19/6/13
Avalanche Studios said the new game was a "different take" on the Down Under post-apocalyptic classic.

So call it something else!
Mives
Posted 02:42pm 19/6/13
Why not have a British accent Captain America? Indian accent Punisher? Swedish accent for Wolverine? Doesn't fit does it. Max Rockatansky is as much a super hero here in our pop culture as anything else created and pushed around the world. He is Australian, existing in a post apocalyptic Australia. The films have been and continue to be marketed as such. Dubbing or not.

Petition signed.
Deemsee
Posted 05:54pm 19/6/13
eski, that's Claudia Black - definitely an aussie - and dead set gorgeous too. She was told to play a quasi aussie-south african - brit and she nailed it too.
Taipan
Posted 08:00pm 19/6/13
She's a Brisbane girl isnt she?
ravn0s
Posted 09:44pm 19/6/13
nope, she's from sydney.
Khel
Posted 11:29pm 19/6/13
I actually always thought she was from New Zealand. How unaustralian of me.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 11:02am 20/6/13
We're going to be on ABC Radio Broken Hill shortly to discuss the petition

http://www.abc.net.au/brokenhill/
TufNuT
Posted 11:34am 20/6/13
We're going to be on ABC Radio Broken Hill shortly to discuss the petition

has this happened?
eski
Posted 01:26pm 20/6/13
Can we not do this? The rest of the world saw the US dub and doesnt care about Australian accents and Avalanche have a horrible track record on VA. It just make Australians look like crazy people who can't tolerate other accents.
shade
Posted 10:48pm 20/6/13
you realize they didn't even FILM the latest one in australia but africa, a VA for a game is really insignificant when you consider that fact. Our high dollar is really making it bad for foreign companies to come here
kos
Posted 11:42pm 20/6/13
shade you're looking at it from and economic standpoint, whereas the argument here is from a cultural standpoint.

I would consider the location of filming to be distantly secondary to the setting, theme and actors/characters. Movies are filmed in all sorts of weird locations without it affecting the culture or theme of the stories (eg. the many movies filmed in Australia - in the 1990s and 2000s when the dollar was low - that were very much American).
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