Keanu Reeves’ appearance on Microsoft’s E3 2019 stage came as a massive surprise to those in attendance and audiences watching live around the world. His walking out following the end of Cyberpunk 2077’s trailer elicited an unbelievable response from the audience, one even he didn’t seem to anticipate. According to the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, that is exactly the way CD Projekt RED planned it.
Spencer told Variety the Cyberpunk 2077 studio put forth the idea to get the John Wick actor involved.
I didn’t know how it was going to go. It was actually CD Projekt RED’s that wanted us to go do this and we have a great relationship with those guys. But you know, I’ve seen my fair share of celebrity endorsements on stage at E3 not actually land that well. Obviously, when we saw how he was portrayed in the game, it was like, OK, it’s very authentic.
Plenty of steps were taken to ensure Keanu Reeves’ surprise appearance remained under wraps ahead of the show. A stand-in recited his lines during rehearsals, and the actor received a codename whenever he was referenced in conversations about the press conference. All in all, things went incredibly well, perhaps even better than Reeves could have imagined.
Spencer said that in speaking with him backstage before the big reveal, the actor didn’t appear aware of the reaction he would soon receive on stage. The Xbox boss told Variety, “I was talking to him before he went out and I was trying to explain that this isn’t going to be like another corporate gig. I said, ‘You’re going to go out there and the fans are going to go crazy.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.'”
From where Spencer was standing, the actor seemed surprised by the outpouring of love from the audience. “I think he was kind of blown away by the response,” Spencer said. “And I loved how we just wallowed in it. and then when he came back off he was just like, ‘wow.’”
“Wow,” indeed. In many respects, the internet has yet to recover. The day of the conference saw Reeves’ name trend on Twitter for hours. Then the memes started rolling in, and have yet to cease. For many, this one instance at the Microsoft conference will go down as the highlight of E3 2019.
The Keanu Reeves Cyberpunk 2077 Response Even Surprised the Actor
Cyberpunk 2077 will launch early next year for the PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One on April 16 2020. Preorders for the game and its Collector’s Edition are already live online and at brick and mortar retailers.