Who’s who in Sonic 2? From Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik to Idris Elba as Knuckles, here’s your Sonic 2022 character guide

Sonic 2 raises the stakes with all the best characters from the consoles.

From disco-dancing mad scientists to airborne foxes – not to mention the epic smackdown between Sonic and Knuckles – here’s everything you need to know about the Sonic 2022 characters.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 release date: April 1st

Sonic (Ben Schwartz) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Ben Schwartz
is Sonic the Hedgehog

Imagine pitching a go-faster blue hedgehog as the new mascot of your video games corporation. You’d expect to be laughed out of the boardroom. But when Sega’s Naoto Ohshima did exactly that in the early-’90s, what seemed like career suicide proved divine inspiration, birthing the character who ruled the console scene and left Mario eating dust.

In the original Sega Megadrive game, Sonic was brash but lovable, cocky yet cute – and so fast he made fellow high-velocity rodent Speedy Gonzales look like a puffing park runner. Best of all, when the character swerved into 2020’s Sonic The Hedgehog movie, all those qualities were amplified, thanks to Parks & Recreation’s Ben Schwartz playing the Hog as a hyped-up eternal teenager. “He's like a little kid,” the comedian told ScreenRant, “that so badly wants to get out into the world and just do everything.”

That’s fine in peacetime. But in Sonic 2, as mech/tech genius Dr Robotnik returns to snatch the all-powerful Master Emerald and turn his adversary into roadkill, the stakes couldn’t be higher. “The second Sonic movie is just epic,” Schwarz told Collider. “It’s huge, it’s big, it’s enormous, it’s exciting, it’s what happens when your first movie does well, you get to make an even bigger one for your second one. I’m so excited for people to see it.”      

Knuckles (Idris Elba) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Idris Elba
is Knuckles the Echidna

If you know your way around a Megadrive joypad, you won’t need us to remind you that Knuckles first appeared in 1994’s Sonic The Hedgehog 3, when he was tricked by Robotnik into hammering our hero. Now, Knuckles seems even more powerful in the Sonic 2 trailer, ablaze with red lightning, snowboarding like a Winter Olympian and promising “it is my destiny to destroy you”.

Idris Elba might be Hollywood’s go-to guy for unflappable cool, but as Knuckles, the Luther and Suicide Squad star channelled his inner hot-head and worked hard to keep gaming purists happy. “Idris was just so eager to absorb it all and workshop Knuckles into the best version of the character,” Sonic 2 director Jeff Fowler recalls. “It was great to see how much he cared about getting it right."

The director has already talked up Knuckles’ fighting skills in an interview with Polygon. “You bring along a character like this,” he says, “whose entire existence is about honour and being a warrior. And right off the bat, Sonic is no match for that dude.”

Meanwhile, Elba has revealed the red devil won’t be all muscle. “The personal touch that I try to bring is a sense of humour," he told IGN. "In the recording of my character, I would just bring some oddities to him in his personality. There's one scene – I can't tell you too much about it – but he talks about ice cream pretty seriously."

Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Colleen O'Shaughnessey
is Miles ‘Tails’ Prower

Meet fantastic Mr Fox. Tails was first introduced in 1992, after Sega designer Yasushi Yamaguchi won an in-house competition to give Sonic a sidekick.

Not only is Tails almost as speedy as the rocket-heeled hedgehog himself (‘Miles Prower’ is a play on ‘miles per hour’), he’s also a gifted mechanic and skilled aviator, whether that’s using the biplane you’ll see in the Sonic 2 trailer or by turning his twin tails into helicopter rotor blades.

Old-school 16-bit gaming technology meant Tails didn’t talk in the Megadrive days, but since 2014 the little fox has been brought to life by voice artist Colleen O'Shaughnessey, who has previously manned the vocal booth of shows like Digimon and Danny Phantom.

“Tails is this little piece of me,” she told IGN. “I can just pick him up and off we go.”

Jim Carrey in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Jim Carrey
is Dr. Ivo ‘Eggman’ Robotnik

Point a camera at Jim Carrey and he’ll give you lunatic genius all day long. Since 1994’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the latex-faced comic has gurned, gibbered and gibbon-walked through his tour de force career. But even by Carrey’s standards, his performance as Dr Robotnik is madder than opening a bag of monkeys. Search for ‘Dr Robotnik dance’ and you’ll get the picture.

Back in the video game, the Doc was a planet-brained, hedgerow-moustached inventor, whose ruses included mechanising woodland animals and pranging Sonic with his fiendish spiked aircraft. In Sonic 2, he’s even handier with the toolkit and prefers others to do his dirty work, whether that’s his personal drone swarm, his giant robot doppelgänger or the new recruit bent on giving the hedgehog a Knuckles sandwich.

"I think Robotnik is the perfect fit for me," Carrey told IGN, “because I am a master of playing people who are filled with self-loathing, and who compensate for it with a veneer of total confidence, and even an air of superiority.”

Tika Sumpter and James Marsden in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

James Marsden
is Tom Wachowski

With a face that seems to radiate nice-but-dim heroism, James Marsden was always destined to play the good guy. The Oklahoma-born actor has done so in everything from Hop to Hairspray, but you’ll also remember him from the first Sonic movie as the local sheriff of Green Hills, Montana, who pledges to protect the hedgehog alongside his veterinarian wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter).

Even for an actor who once wrestled with an Easter Bunny voiced by Russell Brand, Marsden admits the Sonic filmmaking experience was often surreal. “I’m standing on set opposite Jim Carrey,” he told ComicBook.com, “and he’s shouting at me, and spit’s flying in my face, and I’m holding a beanbag that’s supposed to be a blue space hedgehog…”

Jim Carrey and Lee Majdoub in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 from Paramount Pictures and Sega.

© 2022 Paramount Pictures and Sega of America, Inc.

Lee Majdoub
is Agent Stone

While Sonic has Tails, Robotnik tolerates the hapless Agent Stone, who has been toiling as a barista since his boss was jettisoned into deep space in the first movie. As the villain’s spacecraft touches back down and Sonic 2 gets serious, Stone throws back his head and gives a roar of triumph: “He’s back…!”

There aren’t many tougher gigs than playing second fiddle to Jim Carrey. But Lee Majdoub managed to flesh out the character, imagining Stone as a needy obsessive. “I think more than anything, Stone just wants attention from Robotnik, and wants to mean something to him,” the Lebanese actor told The Washington Post, “Even Jim said at one point that there’s got to be something about Stone. If Robotnik hates humanity so much, why is it that this one guy sticks around?”

 


 

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 in cinemas April 1

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