Hideo Kojima made quite the showing San Diego Comic-Con, where he was the protagonist of a panel hosted by his friend Geoff Keighley and Nicholas Winding Refn. The group focused on Death Stranding, particularly on Refn’s character, Heartman.
Heartman was the focus of the exclusive footage shown at the Comic-Con panel. The panelists later discussed more in-depth details on the character.
Kojima said (via IGN) that the character has a “unique” heart that stops beating every 21 minutes. Every time the heart stops beating, he travels three minutes to the other side, the mysterious underworld of Death Stranding, in search of his family.
The search of his family is the only thing that matters to him. He spends those 21 minutes in the real world listening to some music and watching movies that he can consume in 21 minutes. He gets resurrected, it seems, thanks to the AED he’s attached to and dies 60 times a day.
That’s as crazy as you would expect from a character played by Refn and someone written by Kojima. But there’s something more.
Kojima, as you might remember, put in contact with the Drive director in order not only to have him in Death Stranding but to meet Mads Mikkelsen. Refn and Mikkelsen had worked together on Valhalla Rising.
However, Refn recommended to Kojima to bring in Keanu Reeves, instead. Kojima adored with Mikkelsen and refused the offer. He asked Refn again to let him talk to Mikkelsen to convince him to join the game development.
As of now, it looks like we’ve been lucky enough that such a thing has happened: Cliff is a truly perfect fit for Mikkelsen. Cliff is a bit of a good and evil character, something he can do quite well. Additionally, CD Projekt RED has already employed Reeves to work on Cyberpunk 2077.