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Production ramp up: Shooting begins on Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Disney+'s Peter Pan & Wendy film

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Mar 17, 2021, 1:47 PM EDT (Updated)

As vaccine distribution continues to ramp up and restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic lessen, the return to full-scale moviegoing feels closer than it's been in a very long time. Long-delayed film releases are finally within our reach, and on the production side of things, studios are ramping up new projects in ways that they couldn't back in 2020. Case in point: This week's news that two high-profile upcoming genre projects have just kicked off production. 

For those who like to go fast (and perhaps now fondly remember Sonic the Hedgehog as the last major theatrical experience they had in 2020), director Jeff Fowler revealed on Twitter that production on the aptly named Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has finally begun, a little more than a year after the first film arrived to box office success. 

The sequel film arrives April 8, 2022, and features a cast that includes returning favorites Ben Schwartz in the title role, Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, and James Marsden as Tom Wachowski. Maybe this time around we'll also get an appearance from Tails and Knuckles. 

But Sonic 2 isn't the only major new genre film kicking off production this week. The Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday that shooting on Peter Pan & Wendy, a new fantasy adventure film directed by Pete's Dragon helmer David Lowery, is also taking off. Based on both J.M. Barrie's novel Peter and Wendy and Disney's own 1953 Peter Pan film, the project marks another effort in Disney's long string of live-action reimaginings from its animated library. 

The film will star Jude Law as Captain Hook, Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell, Ever Anderson as Wendy, Alexander Molony as Peter, Alan Tudyk and Molly Parker as Mr. and Mrs. Darling, and Jim Gaffigan as Captain Hook's trusty first mate, Smee. 

“Peter Pan has long been one of my favorite stories, partially because I’ve always resisted growing up, but also because of the heart, adventure and imagination that makes J.M. Barrie’s original tale so evergreen,” Lowery said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to redefine his iconic characters for a new generation - and even more excited that I get to do so with such an exceptional cast and crew.”

Peter Pan & Wendy will arrive on Disney+ in 2022.