A senior concept artist on Cyberpunk 2077, Lea Leonowicz, has posted some of her work depicting one of the game’s central characters, Johnny Silverhand. This is especially interesting because the work clearly dates from before the point when Keanu Reeves was signed up to play the role, and the character was redesigned to look like… well, Keanu Reeves.
The images were posted to Leonowicz’s artstation page (first spotted by altchar) and show that the initial concept chosen was a wirier version of the leather-trouser-loving rocker though, as in his final Reevsian form, he always liked a smoke.
Another image shows the detail on this Johnny’s tattoos, plus the detail of his battle- and surgery-scarred torso.
Leoniwicz also posted an image showing various other facial and clothing concepts for the character (image below, or click here for the full-size version). I’m quite fond of the third guy from the left, who looks like he’s a bit tired of all this cyber-bullshit, but was probably also too fresh-faced.
The keen-eyed will note that Johnny’s prosthetic arm is switching sides in the various drawings: in the final game it was his left arm. Finally, there is this pretty awesome artwork for an action scene involving this version of Johnny. Big love for the bullet glancing off the cyber-arm.
If you enjoyed this glimpse of some of Cyberpunk’s behind-the-scenes art and want more, Leonowicz’s artstation page is absolutely chock-full of incredible work from the game.