After literal decades of middling-to-terrible 3D Sonic games, it seemed like an actual honest-to-god miracle that the Sonic movie and its sequel were so successful. Both movies got largely positive reviews, were praised for the performances of Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carrey as Robotnik, and made $300 million and $400 million, respectively.
I should have been prepared for the threequel to catapult movie Sonic into the era of videogame Sonic’s “stupid friends,” and yet I sustained significant psychic damage this morning when I came across this tweet from Sonic director Jeff Fowler, showing a highly detailed rendering of Shadow the Hedgehog’s shoes. So long, movie Sonic’s innocence; the biggest edgelord of the 2000s is coming for you.
Off and RUNNING.#SonicMovie3Only in theatres December 20, 2024 pic.twitter.com/k8gpbV67NqNovember 29, 2023
Shadow is the most famous member of Sonic’s modern entourage, so I guess it was inevitable that he’s show up in the films eventually. Adapting Sonic’s simple cartoony origins into a kid’s movie is one thing—wading into the lore and nonstop cringe of the later games is very different territory for this movie series. But with Jim Carrey saying he was retiring after the release of Sonic 2, it seems possible, even sensible, that Shadow will be the new big bad in Sonic 3.
That’s how he’s positioned in the first game he appeared in, 2001’s Sonic Adventure 2, in which he mostly struts around calling himself the “Ultimate Life Form”. Inevitably Shadow takes on an antihero role and becomes a begrudging member of the crew, which seems like such an obvious plotline for a Hollywood movie to lift that I’m already certain that’s what’s going to happen, and so have moved on to racking my brain over who is most likely to play Shadow in the film.
After the pitch perfect casting of Idris Elba as Knuckles in Sonic 2, I’m certain the producers will be looking for a big name to fill in as the baddie this time. But who? Which A-Lister will potentially have the opportunity to read one of the all-time good-bad lines of dialogue in videogame history?
My best guesses:
John Cena: Action star, can be both intimidating and goofy, has played villains before.
Keanu Reeves: Sometimes takes on surprise roles; has honed his aloof world weariness in recent years.
Chris Pine: Look, one of the Chrises is probably going to be in this movie, might as well guess this one.
Oscar Isaac: Has already voiced several animated films; has star power but probably costs like 1/8th of a Rock.
Meryl Streep: We all know she could do it.