Sonic actor Ben Schwartz has teased that Sonic The Hedgehog 3 will be “bananas”, and the best way for that to happen is to bring Keanu Reeves into the cast. More than three years after the first trailer for Sonic The Hedgehog revealed a first look at the original “ugly” Sonic design, the Sonic films are now establishing a movie franchise that is already growing into a cinematic universe. Given the movies’ unconventional journey and surprising castings, predicting what the future holds for Sonic 3 and the franchise as a whole is not an easy task.
Before Sonic’s design was changed for the first movie, it seemed that Sonic The Hedgehog would be yet another addition to the long list of failed video game adaptations. The design improvement, however, is not the only reason why the Sonic films succeeded, especially in the domestic market. For comparison, Detective Pikachu, a film that featured great CG models for the Pokémon creatures, did not make as much as the Sonic films in the US and never got a sequel. One of the strengths of Sonic The Hedgehog, and especially of Sonic The Hedgehog 2, is how it embraced the weirdness of its universe in a way that never breaks the immersion – something a lot of game, anime, and comic book adaptations fail to do.
For a franchise that brought Jim Carrey’s signature eccentricity to reimagine Robotnik and Idris Elba’s unmatched charming voice to adapt Knuckles, it will take some peculiar choices for Schwartz’s “bananas” tease to be paid off. With that said, the best way to take the Sonic movies’ fun weirdness to the next level is to have Keanu Reeves play Shadow The Hedgehog. The hybrid creature made to be a weapon was revealed in Sonic The Hedgehog 2’s post-credits scene, and he will most likely be the antagonist in Sonic 3. By picking Keanu Reeves as Shadow, the Sonic movie franchise can continue its tradition of unpredictable, inspired castings that, while could seem weird at first, are actually genius. That was the case for Jim Carrey and Idris Elba and can now be replicated with Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves has proven that he is open to fun, unconventional movie roles. In 2019, he voiced Duke Caboom, the daredevil toy in Toy Story 4. In 2020, Reeves had a cameo in a CG SpongeBob movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run, in which he played a magical tumbleweed. When compared to those roles, Shadow The Hedgehog would not even be that weird for Keanu Reeves. Not only would the actor be most fit for the character, especially because of how somber and darker Shadow’s personality is, but Keanu Reeves’ star power could be a great marketing asset for Sonic 3 in the same way Jim Carrey and Idris Elba were for the first two films.
There are a few ways in which Sonic 3 can go “bananas”, but having Keanu Reeves as the voice of Shadow is the best of them. Besides being a fun, almost meta casting, Reeves could actually pull off a great Shadow that honors what had been done in the games but with a different spin on it, similar to what Elba did with Knuckles. For all those reasons, Keanu Reeves as Shadow in Sonic The Hedgehog 3 is an idea too good not to become a reality.