Kevin Spacey to star in Sledgehammer's Call of Duty

After trailer leaks early, Activision confirms holiday release for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare [UPDATE: added quotes]

Another year, another Call of Duty - no surprise there. This holiday's installment of the blockbuster franchise will feature a starring role played by award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, who's riding high on the success of the first two seasons of Netflix-exclusive House of Cards. Activision had been planning to unveil the game next week anyway, but a trailer (see below) of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare leaked out last night. In it, you can see Spacey acting as a character that feels somewhat similar to Cards' Frank Underwood.

Spacey's inclusion is notable not only because Activision is clearly aiming to capitalize on the actor's current popularity, but also because it continues a trend of big name actors landing more roles in top video games. Ellen Page and Willem Defoe in Beyond is the most recent example, but we've also seen Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman in Call of Duty: World at War, Samuel Jackson in GTA: San Andreas, Sean Bean in Oblivion and more.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare marks the first time that Call of Duty development will be led by Sledgehammer Games, which previously had collaborated with Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare 3. The game is slated for launch on next-gen (and current gen) consoles and PC on November 4.

Update: Activision has now issued a press release, confirming that the game will launch on November 4. Activision also stressed that with a three-year development cycle, Sledgehammer has had time to really take advantage of next-gen technologies.

"We've made several key decisions with an eye towards creative excellence on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. We've really approached this game differently," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. "This is our first three-year development cycle. It's our first time with Sledgehammer Games at the creative helm. And we're shaking up the formula in several ways. New core gameplay mechanics with the exoskeleton suit. A riveting new story. An iconic new character played by one of the world's best actors in Kevin Spacey. We're having a lot of fun making this game, and we think the world is going to have even more fun playing it."

"It's been a lot of fun working with the team to bring Jonathan Irons to life. The technology is truly remarkable and unlike anything I've done before. I'm excited to see where this goes," said Kevin Spacey.

The Sledgehammer co-founders also chimed in:

"This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and an honor for Sledgehammer Games. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the most ambitious and creative project we have ever worked on. From the endless research and thousands of production designs, to our incredible focus on the narrative and amazing attention to detail - we're taking nothing for granted," said Glen Schofield, co-founder and game director of Sledgehammer Games. "Call of Duty connects with the fans on such a deep level, and crafting a new vision for the next generation has been so inspiring for us."

Michael Condrey, co-founder and studio head of Sledgehammer Games added, "Glen and I created this team with the singular vision of delivering the best work of our lives. We know we're stepping into some pretty big shoes, but every day I'm amazed at the talent and focus at work here touching everything from the story experience to multiplayer. We're excited to lead the next chapter in this great franchise, and we can't wait for November 4th."

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Latest comments (9)

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 3 years ago
So there is that campaign Titanfall was missing.

no seriously, this trailer is making CoD look cerebral all of a sudden. Could we actually move beyond "because they hate America" being the central catalyst of events?
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James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz3 years ago
ATVI must have paid Spacey a fortune to get him for the game. It's a smart marketing move. The character model looks great but it still feels off to me. The uncanny valley is definitely rearing its ugly head.
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Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist, 3 years ago
If you're going to cast an actor like Kevin Spacey, at least make sure that you actually have the tech to support the performance. I hate to keep bringing up LA Noire, but it still looks better than this, and that was 3 years ago.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 2nd May 2014 10:53pm

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Show all comments (9)
Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
And so far it looks like theres no Wii U version available to preorder. Nintendo's third party support continues to get weaker with each big multiplatform reveal.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 3 years ago
So that's what Keyser Soze has been up to.
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Pete Thompson Editor 3 years ago
Looking forward to this, I do enjoy Call of Duty's campaigns every year, being more of a single player / coop gamer than online multiplayer, even if they do get shorter each time..

It's about time some of the big boys put more effort into their single player campaigns, and by the looks of the trailer this might be the case with this years CoD release..

As Titanfall was mentioned I'd just like to add that although it has no single player campaign it does have the multiplayer campaign where you play both sides of the story, and I honestly feel that Titanfall doesn't really need a single player component.. It's a very good, well balanced game and I find myself picking it up and playing more than I do CoD Ghosts squads..
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee3 years ago
Its quite interesting how AAA games are starting to employ more and more high profile celebrities.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
Adam, It's probably because he's so high profile thanks to House of Cards, yet he (and any other star in a game) also needs to keep making money as a working actor. OR, I suppose he'd been paid quite well for this performance.

Still, based on a conversation I overheard this weekend between some teens who didn't know the man's work (at all!), I'd imagine anyone who hasn't seen the show or knows him from his film work might be wondering who he is and why he's so important to this new CoD. Ah well...
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The trailer looks nice, but one has to wonder: how much of a GAMEplay will be in that game?
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