Code name and doubler at rehearsals.
Keanu Reeves’ appearance on the stage during the Microsoft conference, as well as his appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 as one of the key characters in the game, Johnny Sylland, undoubtedly became the highlight of E3 2019.
In many ways, this effect was achieved due to the fact that the visit of the actor was kept in the strictest confidence. Xbox CEO Phil Spencer told Variety that the company used an understudy during rehearsals, and during conversations Reeves was mentioned using a code name. He did not disclose it.
I spoke with him before his release and tried to explain that this is not another corporate party: “When you go out there, the fans will blow the roof”. And he replied: “This is cool.”
Phil Spencer head of xbox
Reeves first visited the Microsoft Theater, where the conference was held, on the same day that he went on stage. Before that, he spent in his lounge, which was next to Phil Spencer’s room.
He was there with CD Projekt RED and looked at the build of the game, and then just went on stage. Audience reaction struck him. When he returned, he was able to issue only “Wow”.
Phil Spencerhead of xbox
Spencer was not upset that Keanu Reeves eclipsed by his appearance all the other announcements made at the conference, including from Microsoft itself. According to him, the main goal of the company at such events has always been to entertain people and only then induce them to purchase the product.
He also noted that the actor’s exit was the idea of CD Projekt RED, and Microsoft, considering good relations with the Polish studio, decided to trust.
In the history of E3, there were many cases when the public met celebrities with little enthusiasm, but the appearance of Reeves was one of the few moments when viewers jumped from their seats.