Actor Keith David Joins Destiny 2 Cast as Commander Zavala

One of Destiny 2‘s iconic cast members has a new voice. Commander Zavala, the taciturn, dutiful leader of the Vanguard, will be voiced by actor Keith David.

Developer Bungie delivered the news via a blog post, while David confirmed the story with an announcement on his personal social media accounts.

Prior to Keith David’s casting as Zavala, the character was played by the late Lance Reddick, who died on March 17, 2023. Reddick also played Charon in the John Wick series and Cedric Daniels in The Wire.

The Future of Zavala Is Nigh

In his statement, David spoke of how Reddick had captured Zavala’s sense of integrity, praising the late actor and promising to honor his legacy.

Reddick had played Zavala since the original launch of Destiny in 2014, and even had voice lines recorded for the game’s 22nd content season, “Season of the Deep”. Reddick was also known as an active player of Destiny 2 himself and was popular among the game’s fans.

When news of his death broke, the community mourned, with players paying tribute to Reddick by gathering at Zavala’s position in the in-game Tower, as well as launching other acts of remembrance.

In its blog entry, Bungie praised Reddick’s “passion and professionalism.” It also said that the character of Commander Zavala was “central” to the story of Destiny, and that it planned to “continue his journey.”

It said that starting with the next Destiny 2 expansion, Destiny 2: The Final Shape, David will play Zavala in Destiny 2‘s English-language dub. Bungie said that it will not re-record previous Zavala lines provided by Reddick, and that David’s performance would only cover The Final Shape and beyond.

Keith David’s entry into the Destiny cast isn’t the first time the actor has worked with Bungie. In the Halo series, David played the Arbiter, Thel’Vadam, and appeared in Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 5.

Commander Zavala in Destiny 2. Image courtesy Bungie.
Commander Zavala in Destiny 2. Image courtesy Bungie.

Has Destiny Changed Its Voice Cast Before?

Bungie has recast Destiny voice actors before, usually due to scheduling difficulties. Prolific voice actor Nolan North (who plays Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series) effectively replaced Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage as Ghost, the player’s companion, with his lines replacing Dinklage’s in all Destiny content retroactively as part of the release Destiny: The Taken King in 2015.

Nolan North also played the character Cayde-6 in Destiny 2: Forsaken, after scheduling conflicts prevented Firefly and The Rookie actor Nathan Fillion (who will return for The Final Shape). Finally, the Warlock Ikora Rey was voiced by Firefly actor Gina Torres, but was recast with voice actor Mara Junot (who also plays Lisa in Genshin Impact and Storm in Marvel’s Midnight Suns).

Destiny 2 is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Keith David’s performance as Zavala is expected to begin with Destiny 2: The Final Shape. The expansion doesn’t have a release date yet.

Further Reading

If you want to read more about Destiny 2, stay tuned to the site, as we publish more Destiny 2 features, guides, and news coverage.

Destiny 2 Characters Guide – Changing & Growing

Destiny Gaming Franchise – Defining a Genre

Destiny 2 Weapons Guide

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