Kojima says Mads Mikkelsen will not return for Death Stranding 2 "because we care about the character of Cliff"

 Death Stranding Cliff.
Death Stranding Cliff.
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Death Stranding 2's director Hideo Kojima has let Mads Mikkelsen fans down gently, revealing that the actor's character will not return for the sequel.

On February 3, almost a week after the PlayStation State of Play, Kojima took to Twitter to share some potentially disappointing news for Death Stranding fans: "We have received many enthusiastic messages from you saying, 'I want to see Cliff in DS2 too!'  However, Mads is not appearing in Death Stranding 2: On the Beach."

Later, in a separate tweet, Kojima shared more context to this decision: "If you have played DS1 to the end, you will understand. Cliff is a character who played a very important and special role in Death Stranding. Mads understood this and performed it beautifully. Mads' Cliff will remain in the story of Death Stranding and in your memories forever. It is because we care about the character of Cliff that he will not appear in DS2. Please understand."

The Hannibal actor may not be set to return, but there are still plenty of faces that you're sure to recognize in the upcoming sequel. In the new Death Stranding 2 trailer, we got to see Norman Reedus back as Sam Porter Bridges, Léa Seydoux return as Fragile, and Troy Baker as Higgs Monaghan. We also got a brief glimpse at Elle Fanning and maybe even Shioli Kutsuna as their mysterious new characters.

During the same PlayStation presentation, Kojima announced he was working with Sony to develop a new "action espionage game" for the PS5. In case you've not been keeping up, that means Kojima is potentially working on three large-scale projects at the same time.

Can't wait to see more of Kojima's upcoming game? Here's what a 64-year-old movie can tell us about Death Stranding 2: On the Beach.