We’re still over a month away from Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s April 8 release in theaters, but Paramount and Sega have just announced plans to keep the series going for the long term. A third film and a spin-off TV series starring the sequel’s new antagonist, Knuckles, have been fast-tracked into production. Paramount plans to release the TV series for some time in 2023.
This news was announced during the Viacom Investor Event, which unveiled the rebrand of ViacomCBS as Paramount Global and news of a renewal for the Halo TV series. Executives from Sega and Paramount stated that the upcoming Sonic films would begin the next stage of a new “universe” of stories based on Sega’s flagship games franchise.
Sega CEO Haruki Satomi also released a statement on Twitter confirming the news, affirming that 2022 will be a big year for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 follows the events of the 2020 film, picking up right after the character Tails — the longtime sidekick to Sonic in the game series — made an entrance at the end of the movie. Along with the return of Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, now sporting the character’s iconic bald head and pointy mustache, the second film will also mark the debut of Knuckles, voiced by Idris Elba. Acting a rival to Sonic, Knuckles’ powers prove to even the odds against Sonic’s fast speed.
Knuckles has been a fan favorite since their debut in 1994’s Sonic The Hedgehog 3 on the Sega Genesis. The character also got a set of spin-off games, including Sonic & Knuckles and Knuckles’ Chaotix. While they’ve made numerous appearances in other animated TV shows and games, Sonic 2 will mark the first time Knuckles appear in a live-action film.
The Sonic franchise has been one of the game industry’s most enduring franchises, sitting alongside other icons like Super Mario and Crash Bandicoot. The live-action film from 2020 not only ended up being the year’s most profitable film — released just ahead of the COIVD-19 global lockdown — but it also led to a resurgence in popularity for Sega’s long-running franchise.
Paramount is betting big on its catalog of films and franchises, and Sonic is looking to be a core fixture in their slate of new releases for the years ahead.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will release on April 8 in theaters.