Cyberpunk Creator Originally Assumed Keanu Reeves "Would Never" Star In Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk Creator Originally Assumed Keanu Reeves "Would Never" Star In Cyberpunk 2077

The creator of Johnny Silverhand talks about his new likeness.

Yesterday, CD Projekt Red gave everyone a further look at Cyberpunk 2077. The studio's latest RPG is based on a pen-and-paper RPG called Cyberpunk, designed by Mike Pondsmith. Pondsmith is currently focused on the newest of version of the Cyberpunk RPG, but he is in contact with CD Projekt Red about certain aspects of the video game.

In an interview for the GameLab 2020, Pondsmith talked about the casting of Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand. Johnny is a character originally created by Pondsmith for in the first Cyberpunk sourcebook, "Welcome to Night City". So seeing the long-time character brought to life was an interesting moment for the creator.

"I've been interested and amused by some of the castings so far," said Pondsmith, via GameReactor. "Keanu Reeves, for example, wasn't what I originally envisioned for Johnny, but I kind of cracked up when we figured it out because he fit. It was just... 'I can see that.'"

Pondsmith also told a story about how his wife guessed who was going to be starring in Cyberpunk 2077 just before CD Projekt Red let them know. They were having dinner the night before CDPR revealed the casting to him, and Pondsmith's wife laid out the case for it being Reeves. For his part, Pondsmith thought that an actor like Reeves was "beyond our pay grade".

"They didn't want to tell us immediately and they were kinda worried that I was going to be upset, so they were going to announce it to us," said Pondsmith. The pair met with CDPR staff who gave them a chance to guess, only to be shocked when Pondsmith's wife correctly named Reeves.

Keanu Reeves joining the cast of Cyberpunk 2077 was just as shocking for everyone else when it was announced at E3 2019. The actor came onstage during the Xbox press event to show off some new footage and generally be loved by the crowd. Keanu's Johnny Silverhand is "the number two character in terms of lines of spoken text," according to CD Projekt Red CEO Marcin Iwiński. Cyberpunk 2077 is just another step in the ongoing Keanussance.

Yesterday's Night City Wire event gave us a deeper dive into the world of Cyberpunk 2077, in addition to announcing a new Cyberpunk anime coming from Netflix and Studio Trigger. After a few delays, Cyberpunk 2077 is now launching on November 19, 2020. The title will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, with the next-gen versions sporting day-one patches to improve the visual fidelity.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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