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After turning in standout performances for studio blockbusters like Hobbs & Shaw and The Suicide Squad, Idris Elba is speeding into another massive film franchise, SYFY WIRE has confirmed. Posting on Twitter Tuesday, the actor revealed that he will provide the voice of Knuckles, the edgy red echidna, in Paramount's live-action Sonic the Hedgehog sequel. The character's name was derived from the two spikes located on each of his knuckles. "This should punch things up," wrote the official Sonic the Hedgehog film account.
Slated for release next spring, the follow-up is directed by the returning Jeff Fowler, who retweeted Elba's post. Ben Schwartz is set to reprise the role of SEGA's blue-quilled speedster, leading a cast that also features Jim Carrey (Ivo Robotnik), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), and Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski). The creative duo of Pat Casey and Josh Miller also came back to pen the screenplay.
The first movie hit the big screen in February 2020 and went on to become the highest-grossing video game flick of all time with $319 million worldwide. About a month later, the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down for the summer. A mid-credits sequence teased the arrival of Tails, a flying, two-tailed fox and Sonic's best buddy from the original video game series. While Colleen O'Shaughnessey voiced Tails in this short stinger, it's unclear if she'll return for the sequel or be replaced with a different actor.
Production on the sophomore entry in the budding franchise kicked off in Hawaii in March of this year before wrapping up three months later in June. The announcement of Elba's involvement with the project suggests that Fowler is currently deep in the post-production recording trenches with all of the cast members who are set to portray CGI animals.
“If we're fortunate enough to do another movie, that we can finally get [Sonic and Tails] together and have some real fun, and really get to some of what is the next level of what people love about this world and these characters," Fowler told SYFY WIRE last year. "Right now, it's just great that people are enjoying the movie and are now having an opportunity to watch it at home despite all this Corona craziness. That's enough for me. It's great that it's out there, and that people are enjoying it.”
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 crosses the finish line into theaters on April 8, 2022.