Mafia: Definitive Edition will feature an all-new cast when it releases on August 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In English language territories, Tommy will be played by Italian-Australian actor Andrew Bongiorno, who also serves as the likeness for the character and performed motion capture for the role.
In a new post on the Mafia website, developer Hanger 13 has discussed the casting process for this remake. The remake is extensive enough that they did not want to reuse the original audio from the 2002 Mafia, and according to Hanger 13 president Haden Blackman, they wanted to ensure that they made use of new technologies for this release. “Since our cinematics rely heavily on motion capture data, it was essential that we have both voice and physical performances,” he says. “We looked for actors who not only sounded the part, but also looked the part and could perform on both the motion capture stage and in the VO booth.”
While producer Nicole Sandoval initially looked into whether they could reuse the original actors, it ultimately was not viable. “No one’s voice stays the same, especially after such a long period of time,” she says. The team decided that building up an ensemble cast would be important, especially since a major theme of Mafia–and most mob media–is the concept of family.
Bongiorno, who previously starred in the TV series True Nightmares and had a part in the Ben Affleck-directed Live by Night, was the most important bit of casting for the team. Blackman says that Bongiorno got the role because he is “believable as both a mobster and a family man.” The team wanted an actor who could be “aspirational at times—someone you might want to be—but who could also convey his very human weaknesses.”
The post sings Bongiorno’s praises, and Sandoval says that the actor possessed “a distinct coolness and calmness.”
The team also brought in vocal coach Eliza Jane Schneider, who previously worked on Mafia III, to ensure that the actors got the “sounds” of 1930s Chicago (the basis for the game’s setting of Lost Heaven) right. Because the New York gangster patois is the more iconic form of “gangster” impression, Schneider worked with the actors to make sure that they were matching the right time period.
Mafia: Definitive Edition will be available as a standalone release or as part of the Mafia Trilogy, which includes improved versions of Mafia II and Mafia III as well. Check out GameSpot’s buyer’s guide for more.
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