Kojima Picked Mads Mikkelsen Over Keanu Reeves For Death Stranding

Keanu Reeves almost played the antagonist of Death Stranding, but Mads Mikkelson was just too good.

Keanu Reeve is undoubtedly the internet's favorite human being right now. Aside from being the star of the immensely popular and fun John Wick series, he also stole the show in this year's Toy Story 4 as Duke Kaboom, has a subreddit that's entirely devoted to tales of how cool and humble he is, and at this year's E3 we found out he's going to be a part of gaming history as he plays a pivotal role in Cyberpunk 2077.

However, it looks like the people over at CD Projekt Red might have only gotten their hands on the former Neo because another popular game turned him down. Yes, instead of being Johnny Silverhands, Keanu was almost the bad guy of Death Stranding. 

Hideo Kojima revealed that Keanu was the name that was originally pitched to him to be the big bad of Death Stranding. However, Kojima was apparently a much bigger fan of the TV show Hannibal than any of Reeve's oeuvre, as he shot down the casting of Keanu specifically because he wanted Mads Mikkelsen to play the role.

This revelation was made at a Master Storytelling Panel at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, which featured Kojima, and Drive director Nicolas Winding Reyn, who also plays the role of Heartman in Death Stranding. Aside from the Keanu rejection story, he also revealed that even though Death Stranding's release is coming very soon, he's still hard at work on his upcoming weird black goo-filled magnum opus.

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It's crazy to think that we could have gotten a Keanu/Kojima collaboration. Both men are pretty beloved by the internet, and putting them together for any kind of project could have resulted in something truly bonkers. We also don't know exactly how close Keanu was to actually being in Death Stranding, but it's possible that not being in that game allowed him to star in Cyberpunk instead. It's also possible that he could have done both games at the same time, although that might have been a bit of a Keanu overload at that point.

Despite not getting to work together, both men are probably going to be fine in the long run. Keanu is riding a wave of popularity that few people could ever imagine, and Cyberpunk 2077's release will likely only add more new fans to his ever-growing army of Keanu-heads. Meanwhile, Death Stranding will release this year on November 8th, and will be likely be a major conversation piece for quite some time.

Who knows, if it sells well enough, maybe Kojima will cast Keanu as a major goo monster in the sequel.

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