Photo: Michael Tullberg (Getty Images)
Insomniac’s 2018 Spider-Man was a very good open-world superhero game that featured a large cast of villains, heroes, and supporting characters like Aunt May and Mary Jane. It also included the voice of Peter Parker’s friend, Harry Osborn, who didn’t appear in the game physically, but was heard via recorded messages he left for Parker. But the actor who voiced Harry in those messages says he’s not coming back for the upcoming 2023 sequel because he’s too old to play the younger character.
Marvel’s Spider-Man was initially released on PS4 and then later updated and re-released on PS5 in remastered and expanded form. Spoilers for that game and 2020’s Miles Morales follow: In the end, we discover that Harry Osborn wasn’t out of the country as he’d explained in his messages. Instead, he was being held in a secret medical vat by his father and former New York mayor, Norman Osborn, apparently with a symbiote attached. Later, in a different post-credits scene in Miles Morales, we see Norman ordering doctor Connors to release his son. But it appears that when Harry finally shows in earnest up in the next game, he will be voiced by a different actor.
In a deleted tweet first spotted by Eurogamer, Harry Osborn actor Scott Porter responded to a fan sharing their excitement to hear his performance in the upcoming Spider-Man sequel. He explained that he wasn’t coming back to voice the character and said that while he gets it, he was bummed.
“While I voiced Harry in the first Spider-man, I unfortunately will not be in the sequel,” tweeted Porter. As for why he won’t be returning, he claims that it comes down to Insomniac’s decision to “go photo real” with its actors in the upcoming PS5 sequel and that he believed his age difference between the younger Harry character was “too much to overcome.” (Porter is 43.)
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“I was bummed but I get it,” Porter said “Gonna be an incredible game.”
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Kotaku has reached out to Insomniac about the tweet and Porter’s future involvement with the franchise. But if this is true—and his quick deletion seems to point to it being real and something he might not have been allowed to share—it’s yet another example of Insomniac re-casting a character.
Last time, the studio recast its Spider-Man, completely changing his face from the original PS4 version to a more Tom Holland-ish-looking new actor. Though in that case the voice actor for Spider-Man, Yuri Lowenthal, remained the same. In fact, the new face was picked to better match Lowenthal, adding some credence to Porter’s claims. It’s likely that given the chance to re-cast an actor to physically portray Harry in the next game, Insomniac took the opportunity to do so. Still, it’s a bummer for Porter and fans of his take on the famous character.