Troy Baker — perhaps best known as the voice of the Joker in Batman: Arkham Origins and Rhys in the Borderlands franchise— did not reprise his role as Rhys for Borderlands 3. The reasons why haven't been entirely clear, but a recent interview has revealed the real reason why Mr. Baker was not included in the cast of returning characters.
"I said I would love to come back," Troy Baker said as reported by VG 24/7. "[Gearbox Software] said I’m not coming back. Their timeline tells an interesting story. I think it’s interesting that Randy Pitchford tweeted out that I turned it down, and then he said he heard that I turned it down. I would fact check before I tweeted out to the internet."
Troy Baker Couldn't Do Non-Union Jobs
Ultimately, the reason Mr. Baker couldn't participate in Borderlands 3 wasn't an issue of money.
"So they came to me, and they were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’," Mr. Baker said. "Which I said, ‘Absolutely.’ And then they made it impossible for me to do the role. It had nothing to do with money, it had nothing to do with money. They just simply would not go about doing it the way that we needed it to be done. So then it was like, I never said no."
He then went on to explain that he couldn't reprise his role in Borderlands 3 because it wasn't a union gig. Mr. Baker is a member of SAG-AFTRA in his capacity as a voice actor and was one of the leading personalities behind the union's yearlong strike for a better deal from the companies they worked with, a battle that they more or less won.
"No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union," he continued "And I can’t do a non-union gig. And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Yes’."
While the victory for SAG-AFTRA was certainly sweet, Mr. Baker admits that he misses the opportunity to play Rhys once again.
"I’m not mad," he concluded. "It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings."