Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Features the Iconic Character, Shadow, Voiced by Keanu Reeves

The wait for the third installment of 'Sonic' is almost over! 'Sonic 3' is set to debut in theaters just days before Christmas.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Apr. 16 2024, Updated 3:49 p.m. ET

'Sonic the Hedgehog 3' is officially happening at Paramount Pictures.
Source: Paramount Pictures

On Feb. 15, 2022, ViacomCBS — now dubbed Paramount — had a field day during its investor day presentation. The mass media and entertainment empire unveiled a slew of upcoming projects, including Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

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During the event, the conglomerate announced that they were swiftly expanding the Sonic Cinematic Universe with a third film and a live-action spinoff series starring Knuckles (voiced by Idris Elba). Here's everything you need to know about Sonic the Hedgehog 3, including when it will release in theaters and the new characters featured in the film.

Knuckles stops Sonic from attacking him.
Source: Paramount Pictures
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'Sonic the Hedgehog 3' is slated to release in December 2024.

As of this writing, it's been two years since the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, so naturally, fans are more than ready for the third installment. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will release in theaters on Dec. 20, 2024.

The first footage of the film debuted at 2024 CinemaCon, which featured an unhinged Dr.Robotnik who had grown “depressed and out of shape,” but “gets his groove back thanks to creating Shadow the Hedgehog,” per The Hollywood Reporter.

Gamers were first introduced to Shadow in the 2001 installment of Sonic Adventure 2.

Sonic 3 was confirmed in early 2022, by Brian Robbins, the president and CEO of Paramount Pictures.

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"For more than three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog’s universe of vibrant, unique characters has generated one of the most passionate fanbases," Brian stated (via Deadline).

He added, "We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Sega, Neal Moritz, and all our creative partners as we explore additive ways to holistically scale the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise across platforms and captivate its loyal audience around the world."

Keanu Reeves is set to voice Shadow in 'Sonic 3'

Keanu Reeves arrives at The House of Suntory 100 Year Anniversary Global Event.
Source: Getty Images

As if news of a Sonic 3 wasn't exciting enough, multiple sources reported that Keanu Reeves joined the franchise and voices the darker version of Sonic — Shadow the Hedgehog. And it makes sense for Keanu take on the role as he has the perfect voice to deliver lines for an ominous character like Shadow.

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People on Reddit were quite thrilled by the news with Redditor macXros writing, "He was in Speed, now he IS the speed." Regula96 commented, "The first two really impressed me so already looking forward to the third. A Keanu casting on top of that is just awesome."

Knuckles is also getting a spinoff series entitled 'Knuckles'.

Knuckles holding a chain in the Paramount+ series 'Knuckles'.
Source: Paramount+

The good news doesn't stop at the announcement of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 — no, it gets better because Sega and Paramount Plus developed the first-ever live-action Sonic series (um, yes please!). The spinoff, which premieres on Paramount+ on April 26, 2024, puts Knuckles in the spotlight and ties into the third film. Idris returns to voice the character, as he does in the sequel.

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Sega CEO Haruki Satomi expressed his excitement for the project, paying gratitude to his partnership with Paramount. Neal Mortiz, a producer on Sonic the Hedgehog 2, also spoke about the evolution of the Sonic franchise.

"The world of Sonic the Hedgehog has been capturing imaginations for decades, and we are thrilled to stretch the limits of what this franchise is capable of with world-class offerings both on the big screen and for Sonic fans at home," Neal declared in statement (via Deadline).

Neal concluded, "The sky is truly the limit, and I am immensely proud to be part of creating new Sonic content for longtime fans as well as introducing Sonic to a new generation."

Catch Sonic the Hedgehog 3 exclusively in theaters on Dec. 20, 2024.

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