Death Stranding Almost Starred Keanu Reeves

Hideo Kojima reveals that Keanu Reeves name was tossed around while he was casting Death Stranding.

Death Stranding Keanu Reeves

At SDCC 2019, Hideo Kojima revealed that the Mads Mikkelsen role in Death Stranding almost went to Keanu Reeves. 

“I originally was recommended Keanu Reeves but I wanted Mads,” said Hideo Kojima. According to IGN, the Reeves suggestion was made by Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn who also plays Heartman in the upcoming game. 

Kojima doesn’t expand on this casting possibility, but the idea that he simply preferred Mads Mikkelsen is a good enough explanation for most people. Kojima has expressed his fondness for Mikkelsen quite a bit in the past, and Kojima’s social media feed has regularly featured pictures of Mikkelsen over the years. 

Still, there’s that lingering idea of what might have been. Cyberpunk 2077 was already one of the most anticipated games on the horizon, and even it experienced a popularity boost after it was revealed at E3 2019 that Reeves was joining the game’s cast. PR aside, starring in a Kojima game might have actually given Reeves a weird and different role to sink his teeth into it. 

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At least we assume that’s the case. Even though we’ve seen quite a bit of Death Stranding footage already, there are still quite a few questions about the game that remain unanswered. Those questions include Mads Mikkelsen’s exact role in the game.

As we learned from Metal Gear Solid‘s translator, though, Kojima is pretty particular when it comes to preserving the weirdness of his projects, so we suspect that the Mikkelsen role will be a bizarre one regardless of the details. That weirdness can lead to some design brilliance, but it remains to be seen whether or not Death Stranding will live up to expectations. 

Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

Read and download the Den of Geek SDCC 2019 Special Edition Magazine right here!