Hideo Kojima says he would've had to rewrite Death Stranding 2 if Elle Fanning had turned him down

Hideo Kojima via Twitter
(Image credit: Hideo Kojima via Twitter)

Hideo Kojima worried he would've had to rewrite major parts of Death Stranding 2 had actor Elle Fanning turned down the project.

This week saw a new episode of Hideo Kojima's Brain Structure podcast, this time featuring Fanning. Kojima said he wanted to use "Elle's talents and charm to create a character unlike any other," adding that he even changed up parts of the sequel's script based on her movements off-camera.

"I really can't share much, but she's a very, very important character," Kojima said of Fanning's character in Death Stranding 2. "And yes, I created the character with Elle in mind. So I was worried about her saying no to the offer. I would have had to throw out the scenes that I had written, since she plays a major role.

Despite the importance of Fanning's character, the actor was entirely absent from Death Stranding 2's debut trailer last year at The Game Awards in December. The trailer confirmed the return of Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges, alongside Lea Seydoux as Fragile, but Fanning was nowhere to be seen.

"After we had finished that day, you got to spend more time with me," Fanning said of a particularly important day in Death Stranding 2's motion capture process. "But after that day, you said 'I think I'm gonna re-write the script now, I have new ideas after meeting you," she said of Kojima, adding that the only other person to work on Death Stranding 2's motion capture that day was Dutch director Nicholas Winding Refn, who lent his likeness to the original game.

"I changed a lot, I even added in new scenes," Kojima continued. "So we changed stuff during performance captures, but I wanted actors like Elle to be a part of the creative process." 

Following this, fellow podcast guest and The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley revealed that Death Stranding 2 still has "lots of filming" to go, which will extend into next year for Kojima Productions.

Elsewhere in the podcast, Fanning revealed Death Stranding 2 is taking motion capture technology to a new level, promising that the sequel already "looks amazing" even though it's far from finished. 

Head over to our new games 2023 guide for a complete look at the year ahead for gaming.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.