How Cyberpunk 2077 is the gateway drug to the Matrix 4

Not only does he look like Jesus, but he talks like a gentleman, like you imagined when you were young. Has there ever been a purer love than that of the internet for Keanu Reeves? The Canadian actor has put a lifetime into weaving his way tightly into the fibers of our hearts, and it’s paying off now in this incredible Keanusance. It’s not as if Keanu has ever disappeared from the scene, but it’s true to say that he’s pursued some quiet, offline projects in directing and stage acting in recent years.

However, he has burst back onto the scene, lighting up our lives in the form of his much-anticipated role in Cyberpunk 2077, all in advance of his return to Neo in the recently announced Matrix 4Cyberpunk 2077 will mark a post-meme return to futurism for Keanu. From the earnest heydays of the Matrix in the 2000s, Keanu is coming back to the same world as a cultural icon. Empires have risen and fallen, and Keanu might look almost identical, but meme culture means that the eyes of the world are on him. Cyberpunk 2077 and Keanu’s in-game character is a very necessary step on the path to successfully navigating the launch of the Matrix 4 over 20 years down the line.

Cyberhunk 2077

We were treated to a world-altering appearance by Keanu at E3 this year in order to promote the upcoming release of CD Projekt Red’s newest offering in the Cyberpunk series with Cyberpunk 2077. Full of vigor and actual interest in the game which he was promoting, fans went wild for him, and publicity over his performance eclipsed most other news from the event. Everyone was delighted at the prospect of the new exciting game from the creators of The Witcher series, and more importantly, the opportunity to befriend cyber Keanu in-game. The “breathtaking” moment with Reeves onstage at E3 is one of those moments that we are sure will be played in every “2019: a Year in Review” video the world over.

We have learned that Keanu’s character, Johnny Silverhand, will not be playable, but will be part of a sick rock group called Rockerboy, and his look and vibe will echo that of John Wick — the role that has really brought Keanu Reeves to recent prominence once more. Of course, the target audience for this game is coming to Cyberpunk 2077 post-meme. It’s been 20 years since The Matrix, and these years have been filled with growing internet hysteria over the character of Keanu Reeves, rather than the man himself.

His role in Cyberpunk 2077 is a necessary lens change for audiences not used to seeing Keanu as anything other than canine avenger or the nicest guy on the internet. Johnny Silverhand is a gentle segue into preparing a new generation of audiences for a Neo that is a little rougher around the edges 20 years down the line. Keanu as Silverhand will serve as a primer for his Matrix portrayal, placing Keanu back in the cybernetic, futurist environments which are memorable from his 2001 (eternal) youth.

It’s a canny choice in setting the scene, and is preparing audiences for a version of Keanu which we haven’t seen in many years. Memes might maketh the man, but there’s about to be a lot of acting happening on the part of Keanu. He needs to remind us that he can ham it up as an action star. The John Wick films have reminded us that he is capable of slick stunts but it will be Cyberpunk that will better prepare us for The Matrix 4 because of their comparable sci-fi settings.

John Wick, Memelord

The prospect of returning to the heady days of 2001, as promised by the Matrix 4 announcement is everything. It can take us back to the time where Keanu was an admirable and slightly hokey action star. But then came the memes. From John Wick and His Dog memes memes to Sad Keanu, he has stayed alive in the public conscious albeit in a different form from what he was introduced. This has helped him stay relevant as he could have been a faded action star from such hokey but iconic productions as Point Break without them.

It’s not to say that he has become a joke, but he has spawned a lot of jokes that seem to deflate his karate skills and impressive stunt work. Again, John Wick helped bring that badass back to our awareness but Cyberpunk 2077 is giving him another shot to do that, especially for some of the parallels it is bound to have with The Matrix 4. While Always Be My Maybe Keanu is great, we could always use more Neo Keanu which might be a lot like Silverhand Keanu.

He is the one

There’s no doubt that CD Projekt Red has realized the adoration that fans have for his ageless action hero that the first Matrix movie helped establish. As it is, Cyberpunk 2077 is using the love and meme culture for Keanu but using that as an opportunity to get him in a role that’s more Neo-like than we think. At least it’ll be more Neo-like than anything we’ve seen him in since those movies. Destination Wedding was decidedly not that. CDPR is using the meme culture and Keanu’s continuous ability to navigate our culture with grace and compassion to get people on board, but reminding us that he is still Neo in there somewhere. It’ll be nice to see again. But if not, then at least seeing Keanu in a fantastical setting will give us echoes of the tingles we got when we saw in that iconic 1999 film. This will be a good change of pace from the films set in the real world we’ve seen him in since The Matrix effectively ended.

While almost everyone seems to love Keanu and all of his meme glory, Cyberpunk 2077 will likely show the Keanu we grew up on in a setting that better suits that time period. John Wick was a decent way to remember that but Cyberpunk and The Matrix sharing similar settings is the ultimate link that completes the connection. Cyberpunk 2077 has a good chance to both remind us of that sci-fi Keanu we love and prepare us for it yet again. CD Projekt Red has spilled a decent amount of information from the game but we probably still don’t know much about it. But given Keanu’s acting style, it’ll probably be exactly what we want in a futuristic setting that will help tide us over until he returns as the One.