The appearance of Keanu Reeves at the Microsoft Xbox E3 2019 briefing where he announced the release date for Cyberpunk 2077 was unquestionably one of the most memorable events of the entire show (at least so far). Now, it’s revealed that Microsoft went to great lengths to ensure that Reeves’ appearance was kept a secret.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer explained to Variety that Microsoft used a stand-in for Reeves during rehearsals. Not only that, but Reeves was referred to with a codename. The report goes on to say that Reeves didn’t set foot inside the Microsoft Theatre until the morning of his appearance.

Also in the interview, Spencer acknowledged that he wasn’t sure how it would all go down. He said he’s seen some celebrity endorsements fall flat over years. But after seeing a brief from developer CD Projekt Red–which had the idea for Reeves’ appearance–Microsoft was convinced that it was going to be “very authentic,” Spencer said.

CD Projekt Red spoke to GameSpot at E3 this week regarding how they got Reeves involved. They approached him about a year ago for the role, and the studio said the part he plays–Johnny Silverhand–would only work with Reeves. “It was always him or no one else for the role,” CD Projekt Red’s Miles Tost explained, adding that he was happy the news didn’t leak.

Check out the video embedded above to learn more about how CD Projekt Red brought Keanu Reeves on board for Cyberpunk 2077. You can also read the GameSpot story linked below to learn more about the role Reeves plays in Cyberpunk 2077.

After years of development, Cyberpunk 2077 is finally releasing on April 16, 2020 across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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