Sonic Fans Rejoice: Paramount Making Sonic The Hedgehog 3 And Knuckles Spin-Off Series

Paramount is ready to go all-in on "Sonic" as the studio is rapidly expanding the scope of the franchise both on the big and small screen. It has been revealed that the company is expanding its partnership with Sega not only for another live-action movie sequel, but a live-action TV series as well.

As reported by Deadline, the studio is in development on "Sonic the Hedgehog 3" even before "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" hits theaters this April. That movie will introduce Idris Elba as the anti-hero Knuckles, which is particularly important as he is getting a spin-off. Indeed, the mean red echidna is going to star in a live-action series with Elba set to reprise the role. The show is expected to debut in 2023. Haruki Satomi, CEO of Sega Corporation, had this to say:

"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. 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."

An unsurprising franchise play

The splashy announcements (among many others) were made during a Viacom investor event and Brian Robbins, President and CEO of Paramount Pictures & Nickelodeon, was on hand to deliver the news personally. Robbins had the following to add:

"For more than three decades, Sonic the Hedgehog's universe of vibrant, unique characters has generated one of the most passionate fanbases. 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 Hedgehog franchise across platforms and captivate its loyal audience around the world."

The news is not altogether surprising, even if it does seem a bit pre-emptive. 2020's "Sonic the Hedgehog" was a big hit, taking in $320 million at the box office even with its theatrical run being cut short by the pandemic. Not to mention overcoming the initial character design. In the modern era, bankable franchises are key, especially if they can be exploited for both streaming and theatrical. "Sonic" seems to check both of those boxes.

No word yet on who — if any — of the cast members will be returning for the third film, but it's like Ben Schwartz will be back as the voice of the title character. It also wouldn't be surprising to see many of the human characters such as Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik back on board. Whether or not director Jeff Fowler comes back remains to be seen.

"Sonic the Hedgehog 2" is set to hit theaters on April 8, 2022.

After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.