Movies

Shadow The Hedgehog Voice Actor Asked Got Asked For His Take After Keanu Reeves ‘Stole’ The Role For Sonic 3

While there have been plenty of poor film adaptations of video games in the past, that’s changed. Over the past few years some of the best video game movies hit theaters, including the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise (which can be streamed with a Paramount+ subscription). As a result, one of the most anticipated upcoming video game movies is Sonic 3, which will bring the villainous Shadow the Hedgehog into the fold. It was recently reported that Keanu Reeves is reportedly voicing Shadow, and the voice actor who played him in the games shared his take on this casting, and having the role “stolen” by Neo himself.

What we know about Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is limited, but fans of the games are excited for Shadow to be brought to the narrative. Reeves possibly joining the cast will no doubt turn heads, even if it means that he’ll sound different in the forthcoming blockbuster. Voice actor Jason Griffith was asked by TMZ about Keanu “stealing” his gig, but he had a different take on the casting. In his words:

You know, Shadow is now being voiced by Ted Theodore Logan, John Wick, and Neo. So I think that’s pretty good company to keep. I think it’s an excellent casting choice myself. In fact, when there were rumors about Keanu and several other actors and people would ask me who did I think it would be if it weren’t me. I said ‘I hope it’s Keanu.’ I think just his natural speaking voice lends itself to Shadow so well that it’s a great choice.

There you have it. While some video game purists are emotionally attached to Jason Griffith’s performances as Shadow, he seems to co-sign Keanu Reeves taking on the mantle. Indeed, Keanu has a truly iconic speaking voice, and its deep range will no doubt sound great as the villainous Hedgehog. 

While Sonic was the only animated video game character in the first movie, both Tails and Knuckles were brought in for the sequel. The ending of Sonic 2 teased that Shadow was coming, and moviegoers immediately began debating who could voice the role, either Griffith or an A-list celebrity. In his same interview with TMZ, the voice actor spoke about the nature of his business, and how continues the legacy of long-running characters before passing it on. In his words: 

Recently people have been speculating that I was going to play Shadow in the movie. And when personally asked I said, ‘If I am, I don’t know anything about it.’ But no, I wasn’t asked and I think that’s fine. Because one of the many rewards of this business is being asked to voice a character that’s so beloved and means so much to so many people. And then to share that character with someone like Keanu, it’s such an honor.

He makes a good point. Video game historians will recall that Griffith took on his roles as Sonic and Shadow from voice actor David Humphrey. And while Sonic the Hedgehog 3‘s cast list includes Colleen O’Shaughnessey who voiced Tails in the games, the other furry characters have been played by the likes of Ben Schwartz and Idris Elba. And if the reports are to be believed, Keanu Reeves is joining that ensemble for the threequel.

David Griffith explained why he doesn’t have sore feelings about Keanu seemingly taking on the mantle of Shadow. He said:

If I was bitter about it that be throwing away 20 years of career that I have because I got to be those characters at some point. I really think they want to keep it fresh, they want to keep everything new. And it’s a changing of the guard, if you will.

Talk about a healthy perspective. And really, who doesn’t want to share a role with the great Keanu Reeves? He’s a beloved badass with generations of fans. 

We’ll just have to wait and see if/when Reeves is officially confirmed as Shadow by the studio. Idris Elba recently responded to that chatter, and made it seem like it perhaps wasn’t set in stone. Hopefully information comes sooner rather than later.

All will be revealed when Sonic the Hedgehog 3 hits theaters on December 20. For now, check the 2024 movie release dates to plan your next trip to the theater.

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