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Casting Shadow For Sonic The Hedgehog 3


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  • The post-credits scene in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 teased the introduction of Shadow the Hedgehog but the actor for the role in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is unknown.
  • Shadow is a formidable rival for Sonic, possessing similar abilities and a dark past, so the chosen actor should be able to convey gravitas.
  • Actors like Jason Griffith, Sam Witwer, Keanu Reeves, Pedro Pascal, and Adam Driver are all potential candidates to voice Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.



While Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s post-credits scene teased the iconic villain Shadow the Hedgehog, it is currently unknown which actor might lend their voice to bring the character to life in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. One of Sonic’s chief rivals in the franchise, Shadow is a formidable foe who matches Sonic’s abilities in almost every way. The character also carries a dark past, so whoever Paramount ends up casting to play Shadow should be able to portray a good amount of gravitas, contrasting the lighter and more carefree personality of Sonic himself.

In Sonic 2’s post-credits scene, G.U.N (Guardian Units of Nations) surveys the wreckage of Robotnik’s battle with Sonic. While the agents don’t find Robotnik, they uncover a 50-year-old file with coordinates to a hidden research station containing Shadow the Hedgehog. Intended to be the “Ultimate Life Form,” Shadow is a hedgehog merged with the DNA of Black Doom, the evil leader of the alien armada known as the Black Arms. He’s an ideal antagonist for Sonic the Hedgehog 3, and these actors would be perfect voices for him.

Though new cast members for
Sonic the Hedgehog 3
have been announced, including James Wolk and Krysten Ritter, their roles haven’t yet been announced.

Jason Griffith

A side by side image features Jason Griffith in the studio and Shadow the Hedgehog

The ideal casting choice for the role is Jason Griffith. Griffith was the second actor to voice Shadow the Hedgehog, after original actor David Humphrey. Griffith has been the voice of both Sonic and Shadow since 2003, across multiple games and series, and there’s something to be said for going with the character’s most iconic voice. In his performance of Shadow, he has proven he can carry the perfect air of intense superiority in contrast to the more carefree and reckless Sonic. Casting Griffith as Shadow would be a safe decision, one that the character’s significant fanbase would likely support.

Furthermore, Sonic 2 proved casting existing voice actors can be very successful, as with Colleen O’Shaughnessey reprising her role as Tails in the live-action sequel. That’s not to say that casting Idris Elba as Knuckles the Echidna wasn’t a great decision — or Ben Schwartz as Sonic for that matter. Casting Hollywood talent, when done right, has its merits. Paramount would be smart to continue with a healthy balance of casting both Hollywood stars and the Sonic franchise’s original voice actors. And Griffith could provide that balance as Sonic 3’s Shadow voice actor.

Sam Witwer

Sam Witwer in a suit in a parking garage

Another great pick for the role of Shadow the Hedgehog would be actor Sam Witwer, who has done plenty of voice work. He is best known as the voice of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller, in the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games, as well as the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars animated series. In these roles, Witwer has proven his ability to play a tortured and vengeful soul who has fallen into deep darkness.

This describes Shadow the Hedgehog and his origins quite well. In Sonic 3, Witwer could convey both the darkest and the most sympathetic traits of the classic Sonic rival. And fans could expect a dedicated performance, as Witwer is the type of voice actor who throws himself into the role as if he was playing the character in live-action.

Keanu Reeves

Another top Hollywood pick to play Shadow in Sonic 3 would be Keanu Reeves. While he may be a major action star who knows kung-fu and gun-fu, Reeves has also lent his voice to a handful of animated family films in recent years, playing Duke Kaboom in Toy Story 4, Sage in The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and Batman in DC League of Super-Pets.

Shadow is such a perfect role for Reeves because the dark hedgehog/alien hybrid could be played similarly to one of his live-action roles, such as John Wick. The 2005 Shadow the Hedgehog game proved the Ultimate Life Form is no stranger to using various firearms — of course, there’s no telling if Sonic the Hedgehog3 will follow suit. Either way, Shadow is an intense and brutal fighter who rarely holds back, making it a role that Keanu could successfully execute if he’s cast.

Pedro Pascal

Pedro Pascal is another promising option to consider for Shadow. The kind of stoic nature mixed with rare moments of tenderness that Pascal brings to the role of The Mandalorian’s Din Djarin on Disney+ would be a benefit should Paramount decide to make Shadow an eventual ally of Sonic against a greater threat in Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Perhaps Black Doom?). Additionally, Pedro Pascal stars in The Last of Us, the live-action adaptation of the popular game series of the same name. So, playing Shadow wouldn’t be Pascal’s first time bringing a video game character to life.

Adam Driver

Adam Driver frowning as Kylo Ren in Star Wars The Last Jedi

Adam Driver also has the potential to be a dynamic casting choice for Shadow the Hedgehog. Not only would Shadow’s intensity and superiority come naturally to Driver, but the actor could likely tap into the Ultimate Life Form’s more tragic side with Shadow’s troubled past. In games, shows, and comics, Shadow is often depicted as never being given a choice other than operating from a place of darkness. It’s a type of role Driver has plenty of experience with — a perfect example being Kylo Ren in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

Driver has also shown his comedic chops on the series Girls and his three times hosting Saturday Night Live, which inspires confidence in his ability to match wits with Ben Schwartz’s Sonic. While he does have some minor voice acting experience with guest roles on The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers, where he played Art the Artist, Driver playing Shadow the Hedgehog would be his first animated role in a feature film. That being said, there’s certainly enough evidence in his filmography to prove why he’d be a prime casting choice for Sonic the Hedgehog 3’s upcoming antagonist.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 Movie Logo Poster

Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is the sequel to the 2022 comedy-adventure movie that featured the Blue Blur and his companions on an adventure to stop Dr. Robotnik from taking over the world. The new film sees the new antagonist Shadow the Hedgehog, arriving to cause trouble for the newly formed trio of heroes, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, as they adjust to their earthly lives.

Release Date
December 20, 2024

Jeff Fowler

Pat Casey , Josh Miller , John Whittington

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