It has been a big week for Sonic the Hedgehog fans. Not only did we get the Sonic X Shadow Generations announcement during Sony’s State of Play presentation, but we also have a new tease and a ton of casting news for the third live-action movie set to premiere on December 20. This teaser used a Sonic Adventure 2-style logo that harkens to the titular blue blur and his black-and-red rival Shadow, who is set to play a prominent role in the film. But therein lies the problem: We still don’t know who is playing the Ultimate Life Form.
Shadow debuted in the live-action movies during Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s post-credits scene, but he didn’t get to speak. Now it’s been two years since that scene premiered, and fans have been clamoring to find out who is playing Sonic’s fiercest rival. We didn’t get that news today. Instead, we got a lot of other really exciting casting reveals that gave us some insight into the film. And while we don’t know who most of these folks are playing, we can speculate.
Jim Carrey returns alongside several newcomers in Sonic the Hedgehog 3
The big headliner of the day was Jim Carrey, who had previously said he was toying with retirement after Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Instead, he is returning to play Doctor Robotnik in the third movie. The second movie ended on a note that would have let the filmmakers write him out of the story if need be, but it doesn’t look like that will be necessary.
On top of that, IGN revealed several cast members in undisclosed roles. Jessica Jones actor Krysten Ritter leads the pack, and fans are already speculating she may be playing Rouge the Bat. If Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is going to be a loose adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2, as it appears to be based on the logo, Rouge is a key part of that puzzle. She’s a rival to Knuckles, who will be voiced once again by Idris Elba, and plays a major role in the game’s story.
Also among the new cast is Alyla Browne, a young actor who is set to appear as a young version of Furiosa in the upcoming Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Anyone who knows the story of Sonic Adventure 2 knows to be on the lookout for a young blonde girl because that’s probably Maria, Robotnik’s cousin and a major player in Shadow’s storyline. If Shadow is going to be in this movie, Maria has to make an appearance in flashbacks. But it does make me wonder just how much of that story they’re going to show in a family-friendly movie, given that she meets a more violent end than modern Sonic usually portrays.
Fans are eagerly awaiting a Shadow actor announcement
The rest of the announced cast in IGN’s story include James Wolk, Sofia Pernas, Cristo Fernández, and Jorma Taccone. There’s less to speculate about with each of them, as they may be playing original characters. But odds are, none of them are playing Shadow, and fans are begging Paramount to confirm who’s voicing the broody hedgehog.
All of this follows some rumors and speculation that Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen may be voicing Shadow, but there’s been no direct confirmation. There have been several fan-castings over the past two years since Shadow’s initial live-action reveal, from Tenet and Batman star Robert Pattinson, to John Wick and Matrix actor Keanu Reeves. But none of those have materialized at this point. The movie is still ten months away, and it’s likely that Paramount wants to make his casting its own separate announcement. But damn, with every tease we get, I become more eager to know whose voice is going to say, “Where’s that damn fourth Chaos Emerald?”
While we still have almost a full year to wait for the film, Shadow will be getting the spotlight in the upcoming Sonic X Shadow Generations remaster launching this fall, which will include new levels based on his past adventures. Sega is really making 2024 The Year of Shadow, and I’m here for it.