Hot off his starring role in “The Suicide Squad,” Idris Elba has joined the cast of “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” as the voice of Knuckles, Sonic’s scrappy nemesis-turned-compatriot, Paramount announced on Tuesday.
The actor confirmed the casting by posting a first look at the character — or, rather, the character’s hand, including his signature spiked knuckles.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) August 10, 2021
Knuckles first appeared as an antagonist in the 1994 Sega video game “Sonic the Hedgehog 3,” tricked by the evil Doctor Robotnik into thinking that Sonic is his enemy; he became a playable character in a follow-up game “Sonic and Knuckles” released later the same year. Suffice it to say, Knuckles ultimately realizes who the real bad guy is, and switches sides. (For those wondering, the character is not a hedgehog like Sonic, but an echidna, or spiny anteater.)
Elba has lent his voice to several projects, including animated features “Finding Dory” and “Zootopia,” and animation/live-action hybrid “The Jungle Book,” all released in 2016. His casting in “Sonic 2” only heightens curiosity as to who will play Sonic’s loyal sidekick Tails, who is also set to join the sequel.
The first “Sonic the Hedgehog” was one of the few pre-pandemic hit films of 2020, grossing $319.7 million worldwide. The core creatives are all returning for the sequel, including stars James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic (joined this time by Shemar Moore); director Jeff Fowler; screenwriters Pat Casey and Josh Miller (joined this time by John Whittington); and producers Neal H. Moritz, Toby Ascher, Toru Nakahara and Hitoshi Okuno.
“Sonic the Hedgehog 2” is scheduled to open on April 8, 2022.
Elba is repped by M88, WME, The Artists Partnership and Ziffren Brittenham LLP.