Regardless of what other details about Paramount’s forthcoming Sonic the Hedgehog sequel drop ahead of the movie’s launch, people are going to want to check it out — if only to witness a new version of Knuckles the Echidna voiced by one Idris Elba of The Suicide Squad and Luther fame.
Surprising as the news of Elba’s casting was when it first broke, it also made a certain amount of twisted sense considering how Knuckles has always been one of the coolest fixtures in the Sonic franchise. After being introduced in the video games as an antagonist, he went on to act as a (begrudging) ally to the blue hedgehog and his other anthropomorphic pals. There have been a number of different spins on the character over the almost 30 years he’s been appearing in Sega’s games and other Sonic projects. Each features slightly different riffs on the character’s gruff, no-nonsense persona so it’s been interesting to wonder which elements of them Elba might bring to his performance.
While Elba’s take on the echidna is almost undoubtedly going to be a badass, the actor’s quite certain that the red creature — or at least his voice — won’t be hot. In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Elba spoke a bit about what he plans to bring to the role, and explained how, despite being known for portraying devastatingly-suave, sexy characters, that wasn’t at all the vibe he’s aiming for here. “I wouldn’t say he was sexy,” the actor said. “I don’t think I’m going for that. That’s for sure.”
As an actor with a sizable range, Elba’s perfectly capable of playing against type, and it’s unlikely that Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s creative team came to the drawing board with an express plan to find one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive to play a cartoon monotreme rocking a pair of spiked boxing gloves. That being said, anyone who’s spent a reasonable amount of time online has likely encountered members the horny Sonic fandom who, for one reason or another, find different Sonic the Hedgehog characters erotic enough without Idris Elba’s voice in the mix. One has to imagine that at least some folks involved in Paramount’s Sonic movies are well aware that hornt Sonic fans are legion, which makes things like Elba’s declaring that his Knuckles won’t be sexy almost feel like the studio winking and nodding at the public.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — from director Jeff Fowler and writers Pat Casey, Josh Miller, and John Whittington — races towards an April 8, 2022 release.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.