Portal 2 Casting Call?

By John Walker on June 10th, 2008 at 1:56 pm.

What a kindly face.

Rumours of Portal 2 have been floating around ever since Portal lead, Kim Swift, made a sideways mention of it back in February, right at the end of this interview. Now that dust is stirred up once again with the Kotaku-spotted job advert, asking for a voice actor to play Aperture Science’s late boss, Cave Johnson.

The ad, on the subs-only Breakdown Express, contains a pretty detailed biog of the self-made billionaire, stressing that applicants will need good comic timing and dramatic skill for the role. It’s below the jump for those wishing to avoid spoilerific fun.

Cheers, Kotaku
Picture nabbed from Kotaku.

So there’s much to chew over. Featuring a dead character doesn’t necessarily suggest prequel, but it of course makes it an option. It could equally be archived recordings. The most intriguing line would have to be, “Goes from sidekick to principle antagonist.”

However, reasons to be suspicious: The first I would say is the spelling error in the job advert. That doesn’t seem very Valve. “Sarts to lose his grip on his humanity…” The second is that Portal Queen Kim Swift is currently working on Left 4 Dead, and it would seem very odd for a Portal sequel to be in development without her. Although they may simply be planning ahead.

Is it for real? We’ve asked Valve and are awaiting their response.

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34 Comments »

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  1. Phil says:

    From the ad description maybe Mike Huckerbee should give it a shot?

    For what it’s worth I think it’s genuine.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    Isn’t it also worth pointing out that Aperture Science is likely to play a large part in Episode 3, and therefore this really doesn’t necessarily imply MOAR PORTOL on its own. Could be deliberate deception.

  3. Alex says:

    That’s not the only spelling mistake either – “doesn’t sweat the detailsis a big picture thinker”. Very sloppy…

  4. essell says:

    There’s no way Valve would advertise a job with such sloppy mistakes in the writing.

    (Kotaku is rubbish, btw.)

  5. Chaz says:

    Would some one really spend money on a fake advert?

  6. Kommissar Nicko says:

    According to Breakdown Express’s website, I get the feeling that it costs just as much to put up a casting call through them as it might cost to post a wanted ad through Monster.com, which is to say probably not much. It could very easily be a fake.

  7. KindredPhantom says:

    The Job Advert is a lie!

  8. James G says:

    Is it common to put this much character information into an audition ad? I was under the impression that a significant ammount of character development developed through interaction between the actor and the director.

  9. Dinger says:

    It’s code. It’s actually telling us that Portal 2 will be a High Comedy about Dark Energy (kinda like Dark Matter, but actualized).

  10. Mooey Poo says:

    I’m guessing he’s going to turn out to be Gordon Freeman’s future self or something. It’ll be a vortigaunt’s fault anyway.

  11. JoeFreakinRussell says:

    Seeing as Cave’s dying wish was to create the portal gun, I doubt that he’ll be alive in a prequel to Portal – otherwise there’d be no Portal gun yet. My bet (if the ad is real) is just audio recordings or brain-in-a-jar. I’m hoping for brain-in-a-jar.

  12. Alex Grose says:

    Could it be for HL2 Ep3? Episode 2 mentioned Apeture Science and the Borealis. (sorry if you havn’t played ep2 – but seriously, where have you been?)

    EDIT: oops! noticed the “for portal” part. Ah well.

  13. fuellier says:

    I don’t think it’s brain-in-a-jar, the ad title specifically says he’s dead. Zombie!
    Obviously, Valve realised that they forgot to put zombies in portal. Considering HL/L4D has them and there are the ghostly voices of deceased teammates in CS/TF2, zombies with portal guns completes the set.

  14. Jón Kristinsson says:

    “Voice acting required, for a computer game project. Comedic timing a must, slight Southern/Western accent-” would’ve been the ad if this wasn’t fake. No way Valve would a) say the word Portal in it, and b) reveal the whole sidekick/later antagonist plot in it.

  15. a-scale says:

    Valve isn’t one for silly names, and naming a guy “cave dick” in so many words certainly qualifies as silly.

  16. Nimic says:

    I agree with the skeptics. Even disregarding the strange spelling errors, I don’t see Valve practically dishing out half the plot like that. They know the internet, there’s no way they wouldn’t foresee this ending up on some gaming-blog or what-have-you.

  17. Noc says:

    @a-scale: The name is real, and’s been around before this add.

    See: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal_%28video_game%29]Wikipedia.[/url]

  18. Sauron says:

    “Valve isn’t one for silly names, and naming a guy ‘cave dick’ in so many words certainly qualifies as silly.”

    You know, a-scale, that’s the one part about this that isn’t suspect, because Cave Johnson is an established part of canon.

  19. internisus says:

    Contributing further to my skepticism regarding this ad is the fact that the game’s plot is outlined in detail–and it’s a great deal like a rehash of the original.

  20. a-scale says:

    I am shamed. I should have known this from reading the aperture science site material.

    Still, silly name.

  21. cyrenic says:

    Photoshopped!

  22. hoohoo says:

    cave johnson was a post master general who introduced stamps and mailboxes to the u.s. in the 1800’s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_Johnson

  23. CrashT says:

    Valve’s News Updates are hardly free from typos, I don’t think that’s particularly damning evidence that this is a fake.

  24. Chris Evans says:

    I’m calling this false for now. I just can’t see Valve being so open about this.

  25. Alex says:

    I’d suspect Valve would normally work with casting directors and/or agencies to find the right voice for any character in any game, not by placing an ad.

    Sounds like a form of viral marketing to me – we’re all talking about it. Maybe there’ll be an official announcement for Portal 2 in a few months.

  26. Western Infidels says:

    Re: spelling errors: principle/principal.

  27. MeestaNob! says:

    I think it’s so unlikely that this is a hint about Portal that it is infact about Potal.

  28. Johnson says:

    Someone should just respond to the ad and see if it’s real.

  29. Barney says:

    EDITED

  30. internisus says:

    I don’t think viral marketing usually takes the form of fake ads put out by the development company for jobs on the development team. And when Valve hire voice actors for Portal II, they’ll draw inspiration from and discover talent in adjacent offices.

  31. The Shed says:

    “Isn’t it also worth pointing out that Aperture Science is likely to play a large part in Episode 3, and therefore this really doesn’t necessarily imply MOAR PORTOL on its own.”

    Yeah- but wouldn’t you expect valve to have been working on Ep3 for some time now? Surely they wouldn’t leave casting to such a late stage. Maybe I’m wrong though; it’s not like we have any way of telling.

    It doesn’t look very real at all. Still, hope’s hope.

  32. James T says:

    Regarding typos, I’d be more suspicious at the sight of a job ad which didn’t have a typo in it (oh how I seethe at these comfortable illiterates who serially deny me my dream of sustained employment!); but yeah, I’m sure they’d be more discreet if they were casting for what could be one of their biggest games.
    Shed: I’d expect they’d go for voice-actors quite late in the piece actually, and use ‘placeholder’ voices during the bulk of development (Wolpaw’s placeholder voices for Portal had a distinct influence on their evolving script and Ellen McLain’s final GlaDOS performance, according to the commentary). It costs a lot more to have a professional recording and re-recording every time you write a new twist into your story, or cut a part out, or change emphasis here or there…

    I’d be greatly entertained to have Cave Johnson as the omnipotent antagonist of Portal 2, GlaDOS’ voice replaced by the soothing and paternal tones of a wholesome old man with a figurative twinkle in his eye, warning you not to cross him or his attack drones will remove your face…

    But what I’d REALLY like is for Portal 2 to reveal that Chell never truly escaped — it becomes gradually apparent that she’s merely found her way into GlaDOS’ idea of the suburbs, all sterilised white houses and roads paved with antiportal surface, populated by glossy white robo-people and their mechanical pets spouting prerecorded cliches (all in GlaDOS’ voice, of course) with no acknowledgment of Chell’s presence at all; post-escape, her only company is still that damned AI, now apparently living inside her head.
    “I parTiculaRly liKe what I diD with tHe facAde here, i wAs going fOR sorT of a CorINthiaN lOok. Are tHe cUrlicues tOo much? Mind tHe aCId. …You’Re goIng to dIE.”

  33. terry says:

    Eccentric dead billionaire? Surely not Peter Molyneux :O

  34. Vaporware says:

    So its been a year since this was posted, where’s my Portal 2?