Hideo Kojima was invited to the Tribeca Film Festival to say very little about Death Stranding, his next game in development. He took the opportunity to do so.
Though fans expected some crumb of a reveal from Death Stranding, this is Tribeca, not E3. Kojima gave an hour-long interview in which he talked expansively about his love of cinema, a subject that probably is more relevant to those attending the film festival. This is the first year Tribeca has included video games and those who make them among its panels and screenings.
(Kojima’s portion begins at the 5:34:16 mark above.)
As for the subject of video games, though, Kojima did not say much in specific. He spoke broadly about why he attaches to film and TV actors, such as Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen, in his works. Those actors, Kojima reasoned, take a role and do things with it that a game director would not expect, where other performers may hew more closely to the dialogue they're asked to read.
Geoff Keighley, the video games journalist and creator of The Game Awards, tried to expand on this by asking Kojima if he created roles with certain actors in mind.
"Did you write the role [in Death Stranding] for Norman?" Keighley asked.
Here we got the closest to actual news about the game as we have been since it was announced out of the blue at E3 2016. Those who speak Japanese may be able to come up with some fragment, but Kojima chortled and acknowledged that he almost gave up the name of Reedus' character.
He then returned to the reason Reedus was shown butt-ass naked in that weird-ass trailer that got everyone's attention.
"I wanted people to see Norman naked first, and from there you will see him in different hairstyles and costumes," Kojima said, in the only remark directly addressing a game feature of Death Stranding.
Otherwise, this was more of Kojima geeking out as a cinephile, in the vernacular of his fans, from the unique position he's created as a film buff who grew up to make high-art video games. Futuristic action one-offs from the 1970s, like Rollerball, and endlessly quotable neo-noir thrillers like Taxi Driver animate Kojima's imagination, just like many of his fans. These may not be particularly novel inspirations, but they do make him relatable, and they explain his celebrity.
Death Stranding is coming to the PlayStation 4 ... some day. Meantime, you can preorder a statue of Kojima Productions’ mascot for $2,000.