Little has been revealed about Death Stranding, the mysterious new project from Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima. The elusive gaming icon has shared a ton of tidbits about it on his Twitter account, including bizarre cameos from film figures like Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus. Sony, however, has been tight-lipped about what, exactly, this new game even is.
But Wednesday, Kojima dropped a nearly nine-minute-long trailer for the upcoming title, and though we got to see a ton of gameplay and story elements, the plot of Death Stranding is still confusing and mysterious as all hell. Why are demons stalking the Earth? What exactly happened to America? And for fuck’s sake, why is Norman Reedus carrying around a fetus in a jar?
Though the narrative details are still a bit of a blur, the trailer does offer some clarity by way of the title’s cast. The upcoming title not only features massive acting stars such as Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Léa Seydoux, but it also gives roles to two of the best directors working in Hollywood right now: Del Toro and Nicolas Winding Refn (the director of Drive, Neon Demon, and more).
With top talent like Ronda Rousey showing up in Mortal Kombat 11, Ellen Page in Beyond Two Souls, and Terry Crews in Crackdown 3, games are quietly becoming a formidable platform for screen actors to find compelling roles. They are encroaching on the hallowed grounds of cinema every day, and Death Stranding seems to be one step closer to becoming the missing link between video gaming and film.
One thing to keep track of in Death Stranding is Kojima’s treatment of women. The trailer barely features any female characters at all, except for Seydoux, who is named simply “Fragile” and gets her face licked by one of the story’s antagonists. Not great—especially after the whole “Quiet” fiasco in Metal Gear Solid V (wherein Kojima justified a character’s absurdly skimpy outfit by saying she “breathes out of her skin”). It’ll be interesting to see if the title actually gives substantial roles to any of the big-name female actors in the production.
Keep in mind, this trailer is just the “release date reveal.” At nearly nine minutes, it seems Kojima has a lot to showcase for his new game, which is set to release on November 8, 2019 for PlayStation 4. Who knows what other surprises (or disappointments) he may have in store for us until then.