Death Stranding Almost Featured Keanu Reeves Instead Of Mads Mikkelsen

Imagine how different it could've been.
  • Playstation 4
Keanu Reeves may have been in two video games rather than one, as it's revealed that he was once considered for a role in Death Stranding.
Keanu Reeves may have been in two video games rather than one, as it's revealed that he was once considered for a role in Death Stranding. CD Projekt RED

A statement made by legendary game designer Hideo Kojima during the 2019 San Diego Comic Con left a lot of fans asking “what if”, as it has been recently found out that Keanu Reeves could have played a key character in the upcoming game Death Stranding. Kojima ended up casting the enigmatic Mads Mikkelsen instead.

During a panel at Comic Con, Kojima said that "I originally was recommended Keanu Reeves, but I wanted Mads,". This news came from Twitter user Kalai Chik, who is a writer for Asia Pacific Arts. The John Wick star, who is currently starring in the highly anticipated RPG Cyberpunk 2077, could have dramatically altered the tone for the mysterious Death Stranding game. But that statement doesn’t take away anything from the equally talented and iconic Mads Mikkelsen, known for his excellent portrayals of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in the Hannibal TV series and the menacing villain Le Chiffre from the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

Either way, both actors seem to have made the right choices, as evident in the resounding reception Reeves received during the E3 2019 unveiling for Cyberpunk 2077, and Mikkelsen’s association with the genius that is Kojima, along with a star-studded cast that includes Norman Reedus, Lindsay Wagner, and Guillermo del Toro. Nothing about the plot nor the characters has been revealed yet, but Mikkelsen will play Cliff, who looks to be the lead bad guy in Death Stranding across Norman Reedus’ Sam, who is the main protagonist. Given Mikkelsen’s penchant for playing villains extremely well, this may very well be the case.

Aside from the reaction-inducing statement by Kojima, the game director also took time to talk more about the very cryptic Death Stranding during the panel. As of now, all we know about Kojima’s first project after his controversial divorce with Konami is that it has to do with reconnecting isolated humans in a post-apocalyptic world. And also: baby in a vat. Incidentally, Kojima also brought out a baby in a preservation tube during the panel because why the hell not.

Kojima tried his best to explain why his upcoming game (which we can’t quite fit into a genre yet) is so different, with him saying that:

“There's no reason to create something that's already there. I want to create something that gives more inspiration to the world. Like Hollywood movies where some don't live with you, people just digest and consume. What I do is make something that's difficult to chow down when you digest my work. What happens when I release my game or when Nicolas releases a movie, we get criticism or praise. But you think about it ten years later, same as Blade Runner or 2001: Space Odyssey".

To the average reader who isn’t baptized to the works of Kojima, comparing his upcoming project to iconic films from Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick may seem a bit self-serving, but given his track record, fans cannot help but just nod and agree. Death Stranding cannot come soon enough.

Death Stranding is currently slated for a November 8 release on the PlayStation 4. Cyberpunk 2077, meanwhile, will be released on April 16 of 2020.

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