Yesterday we learned Idris Elba is in Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty. Artist Zsolt Kosa envisioned it much earlier.

This artist imagined Idris Elba in Cyberpunk 2077… two years ago

Zsolt Kosa on Artstation (opens in new tab) (Image credit: Zsolt Kosa at Artstation)

Cyberpunk 2077 fans were thrilled to learn last night that none other than Idris Elba is starring in 2023’s Phantom Liberty expansion. And why wouldn’t they be stoked about that? Elba is awesome, and with all respect to Knuckles, playing a badass FIA agent in Cyberpunk 2077 is way cooler than voicing a cartoon echidna.

Not to mention, the brief glimpse we get of Elba’s in-game character, Solomon Reed, looks fantastic. Thing is, this isn’t actually the first time we’ve seen an image of Idris Elba in the world of Cyberpunk. I’m not saying this was a psychic prediction, but artist Zsolt Kosa beat CD Projekt to the punch by a couple of years.

After the reveal that Elba is in Phantom Liberty, a reddit post from two years ago (opens in new tab) resurfaced (thanks to a new post (opens in new tab) by reddit user Aman690) showing an image of a Cyberpunk version of the actor. The original image (opens in new tab), posted on Kosa’s ArtStation page, was mocked up like a poster, with the game’s logo at the bottom. There are two versions, one where Elba is wearing futuristic shades and one where you can see his icy-blue cyber-eyes.

“I thought it would be great to see Idris Elba in the Cyberpunk world,” Kosa wrote at the time. “Here is the result of a quick photo bashing based on the idea. I hope you like it.”

News flash: I like it! There’s even a hint of cyberware on the side of Elba’s head, which honestly isn’t all that different from his glowing implants shown in the game trailer. I dig the comfy-looking jacket in Kosa’s concept art, too, and now I’m hoping there’s some way to have Solomon Reed wear different outfits in the expansion. (If there isn’t, I’m sure modders will invent one.)

This artist imagined Idris Elba in Cyberpunk 2077… two years ago

Zsolt Kosa on Artstation (opens in new tab) (Image credit: Zsolt Kosa on Artstation)

Again, I’m not considering Kosa’s art to be a mystical prediction of the future, but it’s still pretty cool that their dream actually came true. And I’d urge you to take a long look at the rest of the work on Kosa’s Artstation (opens in new tab) because there are some really beautiful and powerful images there.  

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Christopher Livingston

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Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he’d stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He’s also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.

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