Hideo Kojima pitched Death Stranding to Norman Reedus at a sushi restaurant before there was even a script, and "he instantly said yes"

Normal Reedus in Death Stranding
(Image credit: SIE)

Hideo Kojima has shared the origin story behind actor Norman Reedus starring in Death Stranding, and as all great things do, it happened in a sushi restaurant.

Propelled to stardom by his fan-favorite role as Daryl Dixon in AMC's The Walking Dead TV series, Reedus' instantly recognizable face is also that of Death Stranding protagonist Sam Porter Bridges. And it sounds like it didn't take a whole lot of convincing either.

"When I had just started my own studio and had nothing, I pitched the DS project to Norman at a sushi restaurant and asked him if he would like to do it with me," Kojima said in a tweet. "He instantly said yes even though I didn't even have a script. The following month, we conducted scanning and performance capture for a trailer. I was still underweight and skinny at the time."

Kojima and Reedus' friendship and working relationship goes a fair bit back, having been introduced by film director Guillermo del Toro. The duo worked together on the tragically canceled follow-up Silent Hills, and then of course on Death Stranding, and now Reedus is reprising his role as Sam for Death Stranding 2.

Like the first game, the sequel is a star-studded affair with big names across the movie, TV, and video game industries. The full cast has yet to be revealed, but right now we know Death Stranding 2 is bringing back Reedus, Lea Seydoux, and Troy Baker, and adding Elle Fanning (Maleficent) and Shioli Kutsuna (Deadpool 2) to the cast. Filmmaker George Miller is also joining the cast in an undisclosed role.

As for when it'll release, probably not until the back half of 2025. It was revealed in May that the sequel had finished filming and recording, but after that it went into what Kojima called an "adjustment phase" he said would last for over a year. 

Fear not, here are the best PS5 games to keep you busy while you wait.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.