I kind of doubt that CBS will let them "recast" any significant original role.
The best we can get are characters whose likenesses and vocals can be remade, like the female Changeling.
But I think that Cryptic is showing openness toward guest VO's and maybe some of us fans will get a chance to do that.
Heck, I wouldn't mind getting a shot at a voiceover myself, even just a bit part.
Originally Posted by FirstAngelus
Wich seems to be what he is talking about.
And I thing the odo voice is actualy prety good. If I had seen that video without knowing that it is an impersination of the voice I might actually have believed its the original one (and wondered about the point of the video).
Although its been a while since I've seen a Ds9 episode...
Actually, what I was referring to are characters who can be "recast" without most of the players saying "Hey, that doesn't sound like (so-and-so)!"
If you put in Odo, for example... if he sounds at all like René Auberjonois, then you're messing around with the actor's "likeness". If he doesn't sound like him, then the reaction is going to be "that's not Odo".
It's a lose-lose for Cryptic either way. But if they can use a character that didn't appear in the series very often and can be recast without that reaction, then they're going to do that. Even recasting the Female Changeling generated that kind of reaction here in the forums, but not a strong one. So they basically got away with that.
They recast Gul Madred (There are four lights), the female changeling (who was a VERY prominent recurring character; if they can recast her, I'd think they could recast anybody), Donatra (from Nemesis)...
The way it generally works for these things is that artificial elements of a performance (make up, costuming, directing) go to the studio and the issue is when that ownership would interfere with an actor's ability to endorse products or market themselves.
If you recast Picard and get someone who sounds like Stewart, it sounds like an endorsement FROM Stewart without paying him.
Odo doesn't sound like Rene Auberjonois. It's a character voice. Like Mickey Mouse or Goofy or Bugs Bunny. And those are generally in the domain of the studio to re-cast soundalikes for.
In fact, virtually every aspect of Odo (same for Dax) was designed because of the whole Tasha Yar and the Dr. Pulaski issue on TNG. They wanted a voice and a look that another actor could take over for Odo... and they made Dax a trill so they could replace her. They created the characters to be passed around to different actors so the showrunners could use those characters without using those actors.
Seven of Nine and Sisko were both recast in past games. Seven's replacement copied the Borg intonations. Sisko's replacement was just a middle aged African American male but didn't copy.
When Buffy has been recast for games and the cartoon (Sarah Michelle Gellar was the lone holdout), the actress copied the delivery style elements specific to Buffy's character without necessarily copying SMG's voice.
And James Doohan was forced NOT to use his Scotty voice for other shows, particularly Homeboys in OuterSpace, where he played a Scottish engineer in space. (A similar thing happened with Cliff and Norm from Cheers.)
In general, I think the rule has been, the studio owns the characters. The actor owns their own face and natural speaking voice. Where those differ, it's always gone with the studio.
You'll note this in Abrams' movie. People copied the characters whenever it differed from the actors' natural style but not the actors' natural voices.
Well, despite my belief that they aren't going to get permission from CBS to do Odo, I agree that fan VO's are cool and I'm happy to root for that in general.
I'm not a professional actor, director, or producer... what do I know about how that stuff really works?
I did find a quote from one of the devs to be rather interesting... it sounded like Cryptic had complete license to use anything hard canon from any of the series or movies unless it was an issue of an actor's likeness (excepting Abrams Trek, I'm sure) and only had to ask permission to use soft canon.
But then I know the Devs have also mentioned needing to run all kinds of art past CBS and that CBS nixed playable Soong-type androids and freely available Jem'Hadar ships. Thus I suspect that only meant that they didn't need to ask to use characters and storylines but would still need to have things like art and soft canon references vetted.
If that's really true, then maybe they could use Odo and a voiceover that sounds like him... but I'd bet that CBS would still have to approve the voiceover.