Keanu Reeves says videogames don't need Hollywood stars

Image source: BBC

For my money, the absolute highlight of E3 was the Keanu Reeves reveal during the Cyberpunk 2077 segment of Microsoft's press event. Ending the trailer with the Keanu reveal was genius, and bringing him onto the stage (especially after keeping the whole thing so completely secret) was inspired. It was obviously a huge win for CD Projekt, but in the big picture, was it really necessary? Does the presence of major movie stars help to "legitimize" videogames as mainstream entertainment? 

"I don't think [videogames] need legitimizing. If anything I'd say it's gone the other way. It's more of the influence gaming's had on, let's call it Hollywood," Reeves said in a post-E3 interview with the BBC. "Certainly with the Marvel Universe, right? But then gaming probably started in the beginning with Hollywood, right? I think these technologies have been talking to each other. I mean, Marlon Brando in the first Superman … I remember him saying, 'Okay, so now they can just digitize how I am, my look, and do another performance, and I don't need to be there'." 

"That idea of the technology of image capture and performance—We're seeing in Hollywood now so many performers where they're either aging or making other performers younger. The elasticity of performance and time and what you look like and who you are, it's getting more complex." 

Reeves also talked a bit about the game itself in the interview, and mused on the nature of his character, Johnny Silverhand, who sounds—and, actually, looks—a bit like Smiling Jack, the mentor/manipulator from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. 

"I'm kind of a guide, but I'm also... You have to do something, but Johnny wants to do something, too," Reeves said. "And so there's this, am I your friend? Am I a foe? Am I really helping you? Am I not helping you? Are you in my way?"

 Jody, who knows about these things, recently gave us the rundown on Johnny Silverhand, and why Keanu Reeves is the perfect choice to portray him. Cyberpunk 2077 is set to come out on April 16, 2020. 

Check out the full interview segment down below.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.