Sonic the Hedgehog” just got a whole lot darker. Keanu Reeves has been cast as the voice of Shadow, the evil, lab-generated black hedgehog foil to Sonic, in Paramount’s upcoming “Sonic the Hedgehog 3,” IndieWire has learned. Paramount had no comment.

Reeves joins a voice cast that includes Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Tails, and Idris Elba as Knuckles, who debuted in “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” and is getting his own spinoff series on Paramount+ later this year. James Marsden and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik are also returning to the cast of the live-action film. Jeff Fowler, who directed the first two entries, is returning for the three-quel.

CIVIL WAR, Kirsten Dunst, 2024. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection


Shadow’s arrival for “Sonic the Hedgehog 3” was teased at the end of the prior film, and CinemaCon crowds during Paramount’s presentation got a first look at Shadow in action as he’s recruited by Carrey’s Eggman (now overweight to match the video game villain’s cartoonish girth) and launching into a high speed battle with Sonic. But we did not get a formal announcement of the voice actor who would be portraying him.

Some fan casting had crossed their fingers that “The Batman” era Robert Pattinson might step up for the part, but we think fans will be just fine with Neo and John Wick.

CinemaCon crowds also saw Reeves set to reprise his role as John Wick in the Wick spinoff “Ballerina” that doesn’t open in theaters until summer 2025, and he also is portraying an angel in Aziz Ansari’s upcoming comedy “Good Fortune” alongside Ansari and Seth Rogen. He’s currently in production on “Constantine 2.” And Reeves has also lent his voice previously to the video game “Cyberpunk 2077,” to “Toy Story 4,” and most recently as the voice of Batman in “DC League of Super-Pets.”

Shadow in the “Sonic” video games is Sonic’s arch-rival and an antagonist, though sometimes he finds himself working together with Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and company. He was first introduced in “Sonic Adventure 2” in 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast.

2022’s “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” grossed $405 million at the worldwide box office, which surpassed the $319 million grossed by the original, the first in a revival of successful video game film adaptations in Hollywood. The news of Keanu Reeves’ casting was first reported by “The John Campea Show.

“Sonic the Hedgehog 3” opens in theaters December 20.

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