Hideo Kojima doesn’t need to conform to the formalities of game design at this point. Often rewriting the rule book or shredding it completely, the Death Stranding auteur’s passion is famously powered by another medium: the power of cinema. It is no secret that Kojima is a passionate cinephile, and his games blur the boundaries between mediums. So, it makes sense that for his new Xbox game OD, he is teaming up with comedian-turned-horror legend, Jordan Peele, to bring it to life.
However, I think there is more to this long-gestating partnership.
Cast your mind back to August 2022 for a moment. That’s when Hideo Kojima announced his podcast, Brain Structure, would be heading to streaming services like Spotify. But it doesn’t feature just anyone on it. No, the podcast features everyone from Scottish electro-pop icons CHVRCHES to Drive filmmaker and Death Stranding star Nicolas Winding Refn. Oh, and of course, Jordan Peele.
Peele’s episode first dropped in September of the same year, and since then their friendship has continued. Kojima has often shared photos of their meet-ups, which there have been several of, alongside social meetings with other acclaimed directors like George Miller.
With access to so many different artists, actors, and directors across the world, it is only natural to assume that some kind of creative discussion must have been had. I mean, who doesn’t want to pick the brain of the man who gave us something as batshit crazy as Metal Gear Solid 2? September 2022 is also when Kojima first announced his untitled but new Xbox game at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. Kojima promised it would be unlike anything we’ve seen before, not just from him, but in the gaming industry as a whole. And now, we know that this game is OD (previously leaked under the name Overdose), and will contain strange new concepts like a ‘Social Scream System‘.
Recently, we learned more about OD during The Game Awards, where Jordan Peele accompanied Kojima to hype up what they’ve been cooking. And despite a very flashy presentation, with a nice nod to the now iconic P.T. demo in the stage set design, we didn’t see much from it. Aside from the confirmation of the game’s initial cast, there’s still a gigantic aura of mystery surrounding it.
Crucially, Kojima confirms during this showcase that other filmmakers and collaborators are involved with the project, though he can’t reveal who they are just yet – but this project will double down on his goal to blend gaming and movies once more.
“With the help of Xbox Game Studios and using their cloud gaming technology […] it is a game, don’t get me wrong. But at the same time, it’s also a movie, but also a new form of media,” Kojima told Geoff Keighley, before being joined on-stage by, of course, Jordan Peele. It has always felt like Kojima has wanted to direct a movie, and while he hasn’t got plans just yet for that, perhaps Peele’s next movie is the stepping stone to get in the director’s chair. Peele announced his next cinematic endeavor back in March, and as Variety reports, the untitled project is set to arrive on Wednesday, December 25, 2024.
Absolutely nothing else is known about this movie. No plot details, no casting news, and no crew member hirings to show off. Nothing at all, just that Peele is helming it and that it’ll come out on Christmas Day next year. Peele’s movies hide plenty of twists and turns, but this level of vagueness is strange, even for him. OD also has no release date, and I’m not so sure that Kojima would release it so close to Death Stranding 2, either. Considering that Death Stranding 2 is a project for the PS5, and OD is for Xbox players, Sony and Microsoft are going to want all eyes equally focused on Kojima’s respective games without conflicts.
The matter of the Death Stranding 2 release date is an odd variable too. Many thought that this new PS5 game would get another outing at this year’s Game Awards. The chances of that were further bolstered by Geoff Keighley himself, as a hype trailer he made for the show featured footage from the Death Stranding 2 reveal trailer. Alas, there is still nothing fresh to report on that front. It has been a year since that reveal trailer, following Norman Reedus’ confirmation he had returned to the role of Sam Porter Bridges in May 2022.
I speculate that OD will be arriving in early 2025 at the earliest, and here’s a hypothetical timeline to track it:
- Death Stranding 2 (Late 2024)
- Jordan Peele movie (Christmas 2024)
- OD (Early 2025)
If OD does arrive before Peele’s next movie, there’s always a chance this mysterious film could still extend the reach of OD’s lofty goals of gaming thrills and cinematic chills. There’s so much to unravel with OD and its bizarre cloud-based premise.
But what do I think Peele’s movie actually is? Well, given his current track record, his movements can’t exactly be pinned down to a tee. However, all three of his previous movies play within the horror genre, and it could be that Peele is returning to the social commentary that made Get Out so harrowing yet engrossing to dissect. Nope, Peele’s last movie, was a throwback to blockbusters of old, harnessing the energy of masters like Steven Spielberg to deliver a rousing sci-fi epic. I want Peele to push his own borders too, just like Kojima is.
Though the movie is coming from Universal Pictures, that isn’t to say it will go for a traditional cinematic release. If Kojima and Peele want to merge these mediums together, maybe something akin to Black Mirror’s interactive Bandersnatch episode is coming. I just hope, unlike the latter, this is good.
Kojima Productions says in a recent statement that “OD explores the concept of testing your fear threshold, and what it means to OD on fear – while blurring the boundaries of gaming and film.” Like Peele’s next movie, little is known, but I’m always lining up for anything that Kojima lends his Midas touch to.