Is Shadow a hero or villain in the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie?

shadow the hedgehog edited to look like John Wick

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 has reportedly cast John Wick and The Matrix star Keanu Reeves as Shadow, and fans wonder if the other hedgehog will play the villain or anti-hero for this film. 

The Sonic the Hedgehog film franchise boasts one of the most impressive comebacks in pop culture history. After a controversial trailer with a disturbing rendition of the blue hedgehog, the film delayed its initial release by three months. The character received a popular redesign, which likely led to the film’s major success at the box office. 

Sonic the Hedgehog was North America’s highest-grossing video game film before its sequel beat the record in 2022. Eventually, longtime rival Mario dethroned Sonic with The Super Mario Bros Movie in 2023. But with two solid entries in the books, fans are confident in their excitement for Sonic the Hedgehog 3, especially after the exciting casting of Shadow. 

Keanu Reeves will play the role of Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Keanu Reeves plays the edgy anti-hero Shadow the Hedgehog in his fourth animated film role.

Fans speculated excitedly about who would play the iconic dark hedgehog. One of the most popular fan castings was Star Wars’ Hayden Christiansen, best known for his role as Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy. 

However, notable Hollywood insider John Campea stated on YouTube those reports were untrue and claimed “people will be very happy” about who ended up with the role. As if on schedule, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed Keanu Reeves as Shadow the Hedgehog a few days later. Amusingly, Reeves has played an edgy anti-hero in an animated film before, as Batman in 2022’s DC League of Super-Pets.

Will Shadow be the main villain of Sonic the Hedgehog 3?

Shadow will likely be the villain for Sonic the Hedgehog 3.

Based on what fans know about the film, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 borrows plot elements from Sonic Adventure 2. Actress Alyla Browne revealed her role as Maria, one of the key characters in Sonic Adventure 2, in February 2024. Notably, iconic Sonic characters Shadow and Rouge also debuted in this game. 

In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow is an antagonist for much of the game before the revelation of Maria’s true purpose for him. Much like Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, it’s likely Shadow will have a change of heart near the film’s climax. With such blockbuster names behind the threequel and two films worth of goodwill, Sonic 3 may be the best one yet.  

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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