Some new concept art from Cyberpunk 2077’s early days has been shared recently to show what Johnny Silverhand could’ve looked like before the character adopted the likeness of Keanu Reeves. These versions of Johnny Silverhand shared on ArtStation by CD Projekt Red Senior Concept Artist and Coordinator Lea Leonowicz show a character that still looks quite similar to the one we’ve had now but with some notable differences and design that show what could’ve been.
As spotted first by AltChar, Leonowicz shared within the week several different images showing Johnny Silverhand concepts. In one image, some of the Silverhands had more jewelry than others, one had no aviators at all, and others sported different variants of the signature Samurai clothing. The concept art below shows two different looks at a Johnny Silverhand that’s sporting some tattoos, scars, and a younger overall appearance despite still being worn down with his eventful life.
If these concepts were viewed from the neck down next to the Johnny Silverhand we got in Cyberpunk 2077, it’d still be pretty easy to recognize them all as the same character, so the concepts aren’t tremendously different from what we’ve seen. The prosthetic arm and the sleek pants are the most obvious similarities with the biggest difference of course being the face since the final version was modeled more after Reeves himself.
A separate image showed yet another variant of Johnny Silverhand in action. This one looked similar to the ones above but looked younger still without the scars and tattoos being so visible. While the version of Johnny Silverhand that we see in-game uses his unique handgun in combat that’s seen in nearly all of his playable moments, this version of the character had two guns instead of one.
Back before Reeves was officially cast in the role, CD Projekt Red didn’t have plans to simply get a high-profile actor to play the character. The developers commented on Reeves’ involvement prior to the game’s release and told Destructoid it was “either him or no one” when they first thought of pitching the role to Reeves.
Cyberpunk 2077 itself is still recovering from its rocky launch by getting updates to resolve some of the many issues players have been reporting since release. It got another of those updates this week with the release of Update 1.1 that fixed some issues and laid the groundwork for more fixes to come.