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Michael De Santa

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Michael De Santa
Grand Theft Auto character
File:Michael De Santa promo.jpg
Michael De Santa in a promotional artwork for Grand Theft Auto V
First appearanceGrand Theft Auto V (2013)
Created byRockstar North
Voiced byNed Luke
Motion captureNed Luke
Information
GenderMale
OccupationBank robber (formerly)
Movie producer
SpouseAmanda De Santa
ChildrenJimmy De Santa
Tracey De Santa
NationalityAmerican

Amazon.com Logo.png Search Michael De Santa on Amazon.

Michael De Santa (born Townley) is a fictional character and one of the three playable protagonists, alongside Franklin Clinton and Trevor Philips, of the 2013 video game Grand Theft Auto V, the seventh main title in the Grand Theft Auto series developed by Rockstar Games. A former bank robber living under witness protection in the fictional Los Santos, San Andreas after making a deal to ensure his family's safety, Michael finds himself forced to return to his criminal ways and blackmailed into working for the corrupt Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB), all the while his midlife crisis pushes him to attempt to achieve something with his life by becoming a movie producer. Michael is played by actor Ned Luke, who provided the voice and motion capture for the character.

Rockstar loosely based Michael's appearance on Luke's physical appearance, while his personality was inspired by Ward Cleaver and Tony Montana. Grand Theft Auto V co-writer Dan Houser described Michael as simultaneously driven by his greed and desire to ensure his family's wellbeing, which makes him seem like a hypocrite. He is trying to forget the bad choices he made in the past while continuing to make more, and keep himself and his family away from danger.

Michael, like Franklin and Trevor, was received very positevly by both critics and gamers, who found the two opposite sides of personality intriguing. He was also the first protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series to have a family; therefore, giving him a motivation for his actions besides his own selfish needs.

Character design[edit]

Ned Luke portrayed Michael in Grand Theft Auto V. His performance was mostly recorded using motion capture technology.

Michael was the first one of Grand Theft Auto V's protagonists to be designed. The developers had in mind the concept of the protagonist who already beat the game and is living in wealth, until something makes them come out of retirment, which wasn't explored before in the series. The game's co-writer Dan Houser said that Michael is "the person who is trying to ignore some rather large mistakes that they have made. The person who's trying to forget about certain practical but still selfish decisions that they took." He also described him as a "man obsessed by images and by appearances and who, when the world doesn't live up to those images and appearances, doesn't know what to do. He just retreats into his head." Later, Houser claimed that Michael is equally dominated by good and bad values, including his "large ego, an inability to control his temper, and his willingness to make large moral compromises", but most importantly his greed, as he is discontent with his retirment and desires something more. Houser said that all of this made Michael a very interesting and unique character.[1]

Rockstar drew upon game protagonist archetypes while scripting the characters; Michael was considered to embody greed. Houser said the team characterised Michael and Trevor as juxtapositions of each other. He said, "Michael is like the criminal who wants to compartmentalise and be a good guy some of the time and Trevor is the maniac who isn't a hypocrite". He said that having three lead characters would help move the game's plot into more original territory than its predecessors, which traditionally followed a single protagonist rising through the ranks of a criminal underworld.[2] In Grand Theft Auto V, Michael was portrayed by Ned Luke. When Luke's agent advised him of the casting call, he initially did not want to audition for the part because it was in a video game. After reading the audition material and learning more about the project, he became interested. He reflected, "I went immediately after reading the material from 'I'm not doing it' to 'nobody else is doing it'. It was just brilliant".[3] During the initial audition process, Steven Ogg (who portrayed Trevor) noticed on-set chemistry between him and Luke, which he felt helped secure them the roles.[4] "When [Luke] and I went in the room together we immediately had something", he explained.[5] While the actors knew their auditions were for Rockstar Games, it was not until they signed contracts that they learnt it was a Grand Theft Auto title.[3]

The actors began working on the game in 2010.[3] Their performances were mostly recorded using motion capture technology.[6] Dialogue for scenes with characters seated in vehicles was recorded in studios. Because the actors had their dialogue and movements recorded on-set, they considered their performances were no different from those of film or television roles. Their dialogue was scripted so that it did not allow the actors to ad-lib; however they sometimes made small changes to the performance with approval from the directors.[7] To prepare for his role as Michael, Luke gained 25 pounds and studied Rockstar's previous games, starting with Grand Theft Auto IV. He considered Michael's characterisation to be an amalgamation of Hugh Beaumont's portrayal of Ward Cleaver in the American sitcom Leave It to Beaver (1957–63) and Al Pacino's portrayal of Tony Montana in the 1983 film Scarface.[3]

Appearances[edit]

Grand Theft Auto V[edit]

Michael Townley was born in either 1965[lower-alpha 1] or 1968,[lower-alpha 2] most likely in the Midwest. He lived with his family in a trailer park, and his father left him and his mother when he was still young. He began his life of crime as a young adult, with his first robbery being in Carcer City in 1988.[8] By then, he was imprisoned twice for unknown charges, and while in prison, he learned useful skills to use while committing crimes. During this time, he also met Lester Crest, a disabled hacker, who would go on to plan most of their robberies. In 1993, Michael met Trevor Philips while he was carjacking a man, and Trevor was escorting cargo across the border. After Trevor helped Michael kill the man, the two realized they worked well together and wanted to earn money by performing large heists, so they became friends and did so. During this time, Michael also met Amanda, who was working as a stripper, and the two eventually got married and had two children, Jimmy and Tracey, which led to Michael's partnership with Trevor being strained.[9]

In 2004, Michael, wanting to retire and start a new life with his family, makes a deal with corrupt Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB) agent Dave Norton to help him arrest Trevor and their new accomplice, Brad Snider, in exchange for government protection for his family. As such, during a robbery in Ludendorff, North Yaknton, the trio are ambushed by Dave, who shoots Brad, killing him, and Michael, while Trevor runs away. However, Michael survives and fakes his death to cut his ties with Trevor, while Brad is burried in his place.[10] Michael and his family then change their name to "De Santa" and are relocated to Los Santos, San Andreas, while Dave sends Trevor letters from 'Brad', leading him to believe that Brad was arrested and Michael died. During his time in Los Santos, Michael grows increasingly unhappy as he realizes this isn't the life he desired, and begins to suffer from midlife crisis, neglecting his family, which becomes very disfunctional.

In 2013, Michael meets gangster Franklin Clinton, who is attempting to illegaly reposses Jimmy's car.[11] After Michael beats up Franklin's employer, he offers to make amends with Franklin for making him lose his jobs and the two soon become friends.[12] After catching Amanda sleeping with her tennis coach, Michael furiously chases him to a mansion, which he destroys.[13] However, the mansion's owner is revealed to be drug lord Martin Madrazo, who demands compensation, forcing Michael to enlist Lester and Franklin's help in robbing a jewelry store to pay Madrazo.[14] The heist is successful, but Trevor, who is living in Sandy Shores, on the outskirts of Los Santos, learns about the robbery.[15] Realizing it was Michael's work, he tracks him down and reunites with him, although Michael is still sceptical about Trevor's intentions.[9] After Michael introduces Trevor to Franklin, the two perform heists again, this time including Franklin.[16]

Later, Michael is contacted by Dave Norton and his superior, Steve Haines, who blackmails him into doing a number of jobs alongside Trevor and Franklin to undermine the rival International Affairs Agency (IAA).[17] To make matters worse, Michael's family abandons him due to his increasingly disreputable behavior,[18] and, upon becoming a movie procuducer at the Richards Majestic studio, he comes into conflict with Devin Weston, a self-made billionaire venture capitalist and corporate raider, who vows revenge after his attempts to shut down the studio are thwarted by Michael.[19] Michael eventually reconciles with his family,[20] and he, Trevor, Franklin, and Lester begin planning their ultimate robbery of the Union Depository's gold bullion reserve.[21] However, Trevor discovers the truth about the fateful heist from nine years ago and, feeling betrayed, leaves Michael to be captured by the Triads, who seek revenge against Trevor;[22] Franklin soon rescues him.[23] Later, Haines orders Michael and Franklin to erase any evidence being used against him from the FIB servers. Michael takes the opportunity to wipe the data on his activities, destroying Haines' leverage over him.[24] When Haines later betrays Michael and Dave and attempts to kill them, the pair are rescued by Trevor, who agrees to perform the Union Depository heist alongside Michael before parting ways with him.[25] Although the heist is successful, Trevor still doesn't forgive Michael.[26]

Near the end of the game, Franklin is given a choice: kill Trevor for Steve, kill Michael for Devin, or try to save both his friends and mentors. If the first option is chosen, Michael helps Franklin kill Trevor, before the two part ways and return to their old lives.[27] If the second option is chosen, Franklin meets with Michael and chases him to a water tower, where Franklin pushes Michael over the edge, sending him falling to his death.[28] If Michael and Trevor are spared, they work with Franklin to kill their remaining enemies, with Michael killing Franklin's enemy Harold "Stretch" Joseph.[29] Afterwards, Trevor reconciles with Michael and the three protagonists cease working together, but remain good friends and continue to hang out, during which Trevor eventually admits that he over-reacted after learning the truth about Brad, and refers to himself and Michael as friends.[30][lower-alpha 3]

Reception[edit]

Michael's character was met with generally positive feedback following the release of Grand Theft Auto V. Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell felt that Michael could carry a game on his own, highlighting his unique attributes, such as his midlife crisis and disfunctional family.[32] Xav de Matos of Joystiq, however, found all three characters unlikable to the extent that they had an alienating effect on the story, noting that "though each character has a valid motivation for his journey, it's difficult to want them to succeed." He also felt that the ambivalence between Michael and Trevor was a tired device by the conclusion of the story as it became a "seemingly endless cycle" of conflict between them.[33] In his review of Trevor's character, IGN's Calvin Khan criticized Michael's hypocrisy in comparasion to Trevor's honesty, saying that despite all his actions, Michael still managed to convince himself that he is the "good guy", and that he is offended when Jimmy calls him a “bad guy; a crook, a killer, a liar”, right after he admitted all his crimes without shame.[34]

Notes[edit]

  1. As stated on his gravestone in "Prologue".
  2. As stated by his son Jimmy.
  3. The Diamond Casino & Resort update for Grand Theft Auto Online confirms the third ending as the canonical one, due to Tao Cheng mentioning the events of "The Third Way."[31]

References[edit]

  1. Simmons, Alex; Miller, Greg; Lynch, Casey (13 November 2012). "Grand Theft Auto 5: Meet The Cast". IGN. Archived from the original on 19 February 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Gifford, Kevin (14 November 2012). "GTA 5 writer explains the decision to develop for current gen consoles". Polygon. Archived from the original on 16 August 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Molina, Brett (9 October 2013). "Interview: Crime pays for 'Grand Theft Auto V' actors". USA Today. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. "GTA 5: How Trevor became Trevor, how you can play games with athletes – Up at Noon". IGN. Ziff Davis. 14 October 2013. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Bernstein, Joseph (30 September 2013). "An Interview with Steven Ogg, the Voice of "GTA V's" Trevor". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Stuart, Keith (13 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 – inside the creative process with Dan Houser". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. Tuffclub (17 December 2013). "GTA V's Trevor Talks To TSA: An Exclusive Interview With Steven Ogg". The Sixth Axis. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Paleto Score". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Friends Reunited". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  10. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Prologue". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  11. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Complications". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  12. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Father/Son". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  13. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Marriage Counseling". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  14. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Jewel Store Job". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  15. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Mr. Philips". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  16. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Merryweather Heist". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  17. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Three's Company". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  18. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Did Somebody Say Yoga?". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  19. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Reuniting the Family". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  20. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Surveying the Score". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  21. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Bury the Hatchet". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  22. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Fresh Meat". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  23. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Bureau Raid". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  24. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Wrap Up". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  25. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Big Score". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  26. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "Something Sensible". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  27. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Time's Come". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  28. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Level/area: "The Third Way". Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  29. Rockstar North (17 September 2013). Grand Theft Auto V. PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  30. Rockstar North (July 23, 2019). Grand Theft Auto Online: The Diamond Casino & Resort. PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows. Rockstar Games. "Mission: Casino - Strong Arm Tactics"
    Tao: "I almost got killed at this country club once already. Never again." (referring to the country club where Franklin killed Wei Cheng and numerous Triads in "The Third Way")
    Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  31. Bramwell, Tom (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  32. de Matos, Xav (16 September 2013). "Grand Theft Auto 5 review: How to take it in America". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 18 September 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2013. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  33. Khan, Calvin (28 October 2013). "TREVOR PHILIPS: GTA 5'S MOST SENTIMENTAL PSYCHOPATH". IGN. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
Preceded by
Luis Lopez
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Protagonist of Grand Theft Auto
alongside Trevor Philips and Franklin Clinton
Grand Theft Auto V
Incumbent


This article "Michael De Santa" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical and/or the page Edithistory:Michael De Santa. Articles copied from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be seen on the Draft Namespace of Wikipedia and not main one.