'Cyberpunk 2077' Developer Thought Getting Keanu Reeves Was Impossible

Keanu Reeves arrives for a screening of the movie "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" in Los Angeles
Keanu Reeves arrives for a screening of the movie "John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. May 15, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

The trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was the biggest moment of E3 2019 - it revealed that Keanu Reeves is in the game as Johnny Silverhand, one of Cyberpunk 2020's most prominent characters. Not long after the unexpected reveal, CD Projekt Red confirmed Reeves' character is a key member of the game, and not simply a cameo. 

And of course the crowd went wild. The internet went wild also. He'll play a major part in Cyberpunk 2077  and we'll see him a lot.

In an E3 interview with Destructoid, CD Projekt Red senior level designer Miles Tost admits that the developer wasn't interested in getting a Hollywood actor for the sake of attaching a big name. "It was either him or no one," Tost says. "That was our mindset. We didn't think 'We need a star for this role,' but rather 'Hey, he might be the perfect character' and luckily I guess it all worked out for us. 

John Wick and The Matrix star Keanu Reeves is set to star as an NPC and ally within the game. Reeves will play Johnny Silverhand, a gun-toting rockstar that first made an appearance in Cyberpunk 2013, the 1988 RPG game that Cyberpunk 2077 draws inspiration from. Keanu exists to guide you through missions, provide advice and presumably run tutorials. His performance is also good. 

Traditionally, celebrity performances in video games haven't gone well. Game writing is traditionally bad. Celebrity acting performances are often phoned in. In the case of Kiefer Sutherland and Metal Gear Solid 5, his limited performance meant that the main character, Snake, barely spoke at all. 

Thankfully this doesn't seem to be the case with Cyberpunk 2077. In the game, Reeves is everywhere. Literally. 

Co-founder and co-CEO of CD Projekt Red, Marcin Iwiński, also spoke out about the title and what role Reeves will play during the E3 Coliseum 2019 livestream. He claims that Reeves recorded 15 days of dialogue and provided his own motion caption for many of the scenes. Whether these 15 days are intended as 360 hours' worth or simply recording over 15 days is unclear. 

Cyberpunk 2077 is in development for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and possibly next-gen consoles. Barring any delay, the game will release on April 16, 2020. 

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