In a blunt interview with Game Informer's podcast, David Hayter, the longtime voice of Solid Snake until 2014's Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and last year's Phantom Pain, indicated that Konami and Kojima Productions had tried to get rid of him before.
Hayter became well known as the voice of Snake over his various incarnations in every Metal Gear Solid until two years ago. However, Hayter told Game Informer he had to re-audition for his role in 2004's Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Hayter told Game Informer that series creator Hideo Kojima was trying to get Kurt Russell to voice the role, but Russell declined. The Solid Snake character is an homage to many action-movie heroes, principally Snake Plissken, whom Russell portrayed in 1981's Escape from New York.
Hayter described in detail for Game Informer how he learned that he was out as Snake for the role in Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. He was replaced by Keifer Sutherland, for whom he had a rather arch statement of "sympathy" when Fox revealed plans to reboot the TV action show 24 with an all-new cast. Sutherland had played lead character Jack Bauer for all of its nine seasons.
Hayter also dismissed the idea that he will team up with Kojima again, now that Kojima has left Konami. "I've got no particular love for Kojima," he told Game Informer. Asked if he had played Metal Gear Solid 5, Hayter said no. "That'll be 60 hours of humiliation that I can't get to," he told Game Informer, adding that he hasn't played Ground Zeroes either. Hayter had been known for playing and completing the Metal Gear Solid games he had starred in.