The tragic death of actor Lance Reddick hit the Destiny 2 community hard this past spring, as Reddick was not only a hardcore player of the game but the voice of one of its beloved core NPCs, Commander Zavala. Following his passing, Bungie was vague about how it would proceed with the character, saying that it would “honor [his] performances yet to come” in the game, though it was unclear just what that would mean. Now, the studio has clarified its intentions: It’s replacing Reddick for future installments of the franchise.
“Commander Zavala has been central to the story we have been telling since the original Destiny, and we have plans to continue his journey,” the studio says. “Keith David, a prolific actor on the stage and in television, film, and games, will assume the English language voice of Zavala in The Final Shape and beyond. Separately, Lance’s existing lines in-game will remain untouched for the upcoming release.”
The news may come as a disappointment to some players who were openly hoping that Reddick’s voice could be duplicated digitally, but given that the ongoing actors’ strike that is partially the result of unscrupulous efforts to replace workers with AI, we suspect this might be the right call.
“I am honored to continue the great work of Lance Reddick as Zavala. Lance captured the character’s sense of integrity so wonderfully,” David says. “It is my intention to continue that work.”
An important update on the future of Commander Zavala's journey:
— Destiny 2 (@DestinyTheGame) August 10, 2023