CD Projekt Confirms That Keanu Reeves Is Canon Within Cyberpunk 2077
It’s always been a little weird to see a big name, ultra-famous actor show up in a videogame or film but not be immediately recognized by those around them. How, exactly, do you explain that Johnny Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077 wouldn’t be compared to Keanu Reeves from genre-defining movies like The Matrix and John Wick? Apparently, you’d just write your lore to say that Reeves is actually canonical within your game world.
This conversation all stems from the release of a new single for Cyberpunk 2077 that happened over the weekend. In the song “No Save Point” by Run The Jewels, a passing reference is made to Reeves with the lyric, “Keanu Reeves, cyber arm under my sleeve.” Since this song appears in-game as a part of Cyberpunk’s universe, that means Reeves would have to have lived at some point within that world. With the real-life Reeves portraying Silverhand in-game, doesn’t that create a conflict?
Patrick Mills, senior quest designer for Cyberpunk 2077, explained on Twitter, “The KR lyric is lore-friendly. It’s an in-universe cultural reference to KR, a little known Collapse-era actor who bore an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Silverhand.”
A lot of that explanation isn’t going to mean much to people not familiar with Cyberpunk, but Eurogamer does a solid job filling in the details. Within Cyberpunk’s universe, the Collapse is a period of time in the 90s that happened shortly after the fall of Western civilization. While inspired by political turmoil happening in our world, it diverges from reality to create the dystopian future within the game, likely meaning that Reeves in Cyberpunk died before ever creating The Matrix.
It’s obviously a handwave to explain how Reeves could be mentioned in a lyric and have his face in the game, but it’s still a humorous and fun way to get all meta with things. Considering how inconsistent celebrity appearances can be in popular media, at least there is a relatively plausible explanation for Cyberpunk 2077. With people being able to augment every facet of their appearance, who’s to say that Silverhand wasn’t just a massive Reeves fan that went a little overboard? You don’t even need to look to fiction to find similar stories.
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