Death Stranding 2: On the Beach isn’t Bringing Back Mads Mikkelsen, Kojima Confirms

“If you have played Death Stranding 1 to the end, you will understand,” Kojima says about the absence of Mikkelsen’s character in the upcoming sequel.

Hideo Kojima loves casting big stars for major roles in his games, and never has that been more abundantly apparent than with the Death Stranding series. Death Stranding 2: On the Beach is set to do the same, with the likes of Elle Fanning, Shioli Kutsuna, George Miller, and of course, the returning pair of Norman Reedus Lea Seydoux attached to the project- but there is one big name that had a major part to play in the original game isn’t going to return for the sequel.

Mads Mikkelsen, who played Cliff in the first Death Stranding, won’t be reprising his role in Death Stranding 2: On the Beach, Kojima recently confirmed on Twitter. He wrote: “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.”

Kojima went on to explain that though the decision to not bring Mikkelsen’s character back will be disappointing for some, his absence is down to narrative reasons- which, as Kojima says as well, is easy to understand if you’ve finished the first game.

“f you have played DS1 to the end, you will understand,” Kojima wrote. “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 upcoming sequel is set to feature a healthy mix of new and returning characters, based on what we’ve seen of it so far. Where the latter are concerned, a living puppet who moves at half frame rate in particular has captured the fanbase’s hearts. Beyond that, Kojima says you can expect several other characters that haven’t been revealed yet.

Death Stranding 2: On the Beach is in development for PS5, and will launch in 2025.