EXCLUSIVE: Even though the second film doesn’t bow until the spring, Paramount Pictures and Sega Corp are moving fast to build on their growing Sonic the Hedgehog universe with projects in both the film and TV realms.
Paramount and Sega have commenced development on a third feature film installment to the franchise, while Sega and Paramount+ are developing the first-ever original live-action Sonic series, to launch in 2023. It will feature the character Knuckles, with Idris Elba returning to voice the role after it debuts in the sequel movie that bows April 8.
The announcement was made during Tuesday’s Viacom Investor Event where Brian Robbins, President and CEO, Paramount Pictures & Nickelodeon; Chief Content Officer, Movies, Kids & Family – Paramount+, delivered the news during the presentation.
“We are delighted to announce that the third Sonic theatrical film and the first live-action Sonic series for Paramount+ are being actively developed. We’ve got a remarkable partnership with Paramount, and we are excited to continue expanding the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise with them,” Sega CEO Haruki Satomi said. “2022 is shaping up to be a significant year for the franchise with the second film being released this April, as well as Sonic Frontiers, the highly anticipated video game title, coming this holiday. Sonic has been beloved by fans across the world for over 30 years and we look forward to continuing to bring memorable moments and experiences to them for many years to come.”
Sonic the Hedgehog broke multiple box office records, including becoming the domestic top-grossing video game adaptation of all time, when it hit theaters in 2020, earning almost $320 million in worldwide box office. The success gave Paramount another franchise to dive into, and the studio quickly moved forward with development on its sequel. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is bringing back the original cast, as well as re-teaming director Jeff Fowler with writers Pat Casey & Josh Miller. Producing are Neal H. Moritz, Toby Ascher and Toru Nakahara, with Satomi, Nan Morales and Tim Miller executive producing.
While the studio continues to build on a promising slate of films, Sonic is the prime example of the type of IP they want to focus on, giving them four-quadrant films that do well at the box office and a property that can be used to deliver more content for its streaming platform.
“For more than three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog’s universe of vibrant, unique characters has generated one of the most passionate fanbases,” said Robbins. “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 Hedgehogfranchise across platforms and captivate its loyal audience around the world.”
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Based on the global blockbuster video game franchise from Sega, the Sonic the Hedgehog film series tells the story of the world’s speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. The first installment of the film series, a live-action-adventure comedy released in February 2020, tells the story of Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden), who team to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The family-friendly film also stars Tika Sumpter, with Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.
“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. 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,” said Moritz.
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