Beyond: Two Souls started coming together when director David Cage stumbled across a photo of Ellen Page online, the developer told Kotaku in a recent interview.
The initial concept itself was conceived after attending a funeral for a close friend. Cage became drawn to the idea of the afterlife, of what laid beyond. But when he started working on the script itself, he found himself uncertain about his protagonist. And while he can’t remember what search string turned up the photograph of Ellen Page that inspired him, he was certain that everything started falling into place once he saw her.
The photo in question (seen below) was of a sixteen-year-old Ellen Page with her hair cut militaristically short.
“I started writing the first scene of Beyond: Two Souls, and I asked myself, ‘Who is my main character?’ I thought she should have this strength inside her. She’s courageous, and she’s brave. But at the same time she is just a little girl.
“So I started looking for images and I found a picture of Ellen that was exactly this.”
Countless photos of Ellen Page collected later, and Cage knew he had more than a protagonist. He had who he wanted to be his lead actor.
“I began to realize that might be a problem,” Cage said. “because I realized I was going to have to ask Ellen to be in the game.”
Beyond: Two Souls, starring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, launches exclusively for PlayStation 3 next week, on October 8 in North America and October 11 in Europe.