A song lyric included in Cyberpunk 2077 has caused a major stir amongst fans of the game and prompted the development team to provide a wild new piece of game lore: Keanu Reeves is apparently canon in the world of Cyberpunk 2077, despite appearing as Johnny Silverhand in the game.
In Yankee and the Brave’s “No Save Point” (a song performed by real-life band Run The Jewels), Killer Mike raps: “Keanu Reeves (KR), cyber arm under my sleeve, I blast ’em all, watch ’em fall like autumn leaves.” As fans pointed out online, Run the Jewels is performing as a fictional band within the world of Cyberpunk, so Keanu Reeves shouldn’t really exist in the game.
It was a minor quibble soon solved by Patrick K. Milles, senior quest designer at CD Projekt Red.
According to Mills, this lyric doesn't break canon because Keanu Reeves already existed in Cyberpunk 2077. "The KR lyric is lore friendly," he wrote on Twitter. "It's an in universe cultural reference to KR, a little known Collapse-era actor who bore and uncanny resemblance to Johnny Silverhand, and in the years following Johnny's disappearance, was frequently mistaken for JS."
There's a lot to unpack here. First, calling Keanu Reeves "little known" should be a crime in any context. Second, it appears Keanu Reeves and Johnny Silverhand are doppelgangers in the game, since they both have the same face, body and mannerisms. According to popular belief, we all have a handful of doppelgangers living on Earth at the same time as us, so it's not outside the realm of possibility for two prominent entertainers to share a face — just very unlikely.
The "Collapse" Mills references here is essentially the in-game version of the fall of Western civilisation, the moment when all the stock markets crashed and society caved in on itself. While we can take this additional lore with a grain of salt, it appears Reeves and Silverhand existed in the same spaces at the same time, with Reeves surviving the rocker long after his death. Whether you'll run into him in the game is yet to be seen, but it's an interesting piece of lore nonetheless.
If you're keen for more Cyberpunk 2077 or you just want to see more of the excellent Keanu Reeves, the latest Night City Wire should be on your radar.
At 4 a.m. AEDT on Friday, November 20 the CD Projekt Red team will go live with the latest episode exploring everything Johnny Silverhand, Keanu Reeves and more. You'll be able to catch it via the CD Projekt Red Twitch page here.