James C. Burns Voices Frustration Over Being Recast In Black Ops: Cold War

Updated On:

September 1, 2020

Taylor Cole

Taylor Cole

Black Ops: Cold War


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OG Frank Woods Voice Actor Upset Over Recasting In Cold War

Back at Opening Night Live, we got our first look at the campaign for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War. Serving as a direct sequel to the original Black Ops, this new installment takes place in the 1980s and features the return of many fan-favorite characters. However, it looks like they’ll be voiced by different people.

James C. Burns, who famously voiced Frank Woods since 2010, has shared his frustrations over being recast. Burns has a YouTube series called Sarges Corner where he chats with fans and answers their questions. During one of these streams, Burns had this to say regarding the recasting:

“I’m sure the story’s going to be fucking brilliant. It’s just that if I could have brought all that I know… like I got 80,000 pounds of weight to bring to this thing. And not a knock on whoever they got in to do it, but he doesn’t have the background I have with Woods. I’ve got 11 years with this guy man, and I have all this backstory and all this front-loaded stuff… and I know the… man! So that’s my frustration. I would have fucking cru – not that this guy’s not going to do a good job. I’m sure he is. He’s a professional actor. I’m sure he’ll do fine. But… ah! I would have fucking crushed this thing. That’s my frustration. I wish I had a shot at it. Because man I think I would have really… I would have done a great job. I’m so bummed I didn’t get a chance at it. That’s all.”

Along with this, Burns was puzzled that Treyarch hired someone to impersonate his voice for Woods but, he did find the decision “kinda flattering”. The voice actor also claims that he doesn’t know why Treyarch went in another direction for Black Ops: Cold War.


Shortly after the Opening Night Live trailer, some gamers began using the hashtag #NotMyWoods to voice their displeasure over the new voice cast. Call of Duty went through a similar situation last year with recasting Captain Price for the reboot of Modern Warfare. Fans loved Billy Murray’s performance as Price in the original MW trilogy and were quick to denounce anyone else taking up the mantle. Yet, recasting Price with Barry Sloane in the role turned out to be a massive success for Infinity Ward. Many fans now love Sloane’s version of the character.

Why Would Treyarch Recast The OG Cast For Black Ops: Cold War?

We still don’t know why Treyarch and Raven Software introduced a new voice cast in Black Ops: Cold War. One plausible explanation could come from Raven Software. Treyarch has been the primary developer behind the Black Ops series. But, this year is a bit different. Raven Software is the studio behind the game’s unique campaign. Maybe the studio wanted to bring in their own crew, providing the series with a fresh start. But, if this was the case, why bring in someone to essentially imitate Burns’ version of Woods?

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