PAX East attendees are in for a real treat at Valve's Portal 2 booth this year. Not only do they get to listen to Steven Merchant as the charmingly befuddled Wheatley, but they're also the first to hear actor J.K. Simmons as Aperture Science president and founder Cave Johnson. Known for his role as J.J. Jameson in the Spider-Man films, Simmons brings the same clipped delivery to Portal 2, guiding the player through the (at least) the first few test chambers. A sampling:
"Those of you who volunteered to be injected with praying mantis DNA, I've got some goods news and some bad news. The bad news is we're postponing those tests indefinitely. The good news is we've got a much better test for you: Fighting an army of Mantis Men."
Cave Johnson was first rumored as a Portal 2 character in a casting call discovered way back in 2008. Valve's Erik Wolpaw told us that the Portal 2 team actually didn't have Simmons in mind when writing for Johnson's character began. Originally, Valve envisioned Johnson with "sort of a southern voice," but eventually went with a more midwestern character.

Wolpaw wouldn't tell us how large a role Johnson has in the game, saying only that "you'll hear a lot of him."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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