Hideo Kojima says he would’ve had to basically rewrite Death Stranding 2 if Elle Fanning turned down the project.
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Taking to his Spotify podcast, Brain Structure, the legendary video game director, writer, and producer talked to actor Fanning. During the podcast he explained that he wanted to use “Elle‘s talents and charm to create a character unlike any other”.
This led to the revelation that he even altered specific parts of the game’s script based on her movements off-camera. However, it seems the Metal Gear Solid director was worried he’d have to scrap large parts of the game had she said no. “I would have had to throw out the scenes that I had written, since she plays a major role,” he explained.
Elaborating on Fanning’s character and role in the sequel to the much-lauded 2019 title Death Stranding, Kojima said: “I really can’t share much, but she’s a very, very important character. And yes, I created the character with Elle in mind. So I was worried about her saying no to the offer.”
Despite the importance of Fanning’s character, the actor was omitted entirely from Death Stranding 2‘s debut December 2022 trailer. The trailer confirmed the return of Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges alongside Lea Seydoux as Fragile. However, Fanning was nowhere to be seen.
During the podcast Fanning recapped on her time spent with Kojima and others working on Death Stranding 2. She recalled a particular sequence of motion capture, saying:
“After we had finished that day, you got to spend more time with me. But after that day, you said ‘I think I’m gonna re-write the script now, I have new ideas after meeting you.”
Kojima responded: “I changed a lot, I even added in new scenes. So we changed stuff during performance captures, but I wanted actors like Elle to be a part of the creative process.”
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.
At this point Death Stranding 2 has no release date.