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Knuckles’ new TV show expands the Sonic the Hedgehog cinematic universe

If you buck, you must therefore knuck

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The Cinematic World of Sonic the Hedgehog — yes, Paramount is calling it that — expands in April with the release of Knuckles, the live-action spinoff of Sega and Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog movies. On Thursday, we got our first look at that Paramount Plus-exclusive series, which might just make you think, “Hey, why isn’t this a movie?”

Maybe that’s just the nagging Bob Iger portion of your brain, recalculating why it makes financial sense to make expensive streaming TV shows based on your biggest IP. And Knuckles definitely has the look and feel of the Jeff Fowler-led Sonic the Hedgehog films. (Fowler directed the first episode, Paramount says.) But instead of Ben Schwarz and James Marsden leading the adventure, it’s Idris Elba as Knuckles and Adam Pally as Wade Whipple. The relationship is a little inverted here, as the fiery monotreme sets off on a “hilarious and action-packed journey of self-discovery as he agrees to train Wade [...] as his protégé and teach him the ways of the Echidna warrior.”

Knuckles is set between the events of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3, so if you want to be lore-complete with the third film comes out this December, you’re going to want to get access to Paramount Plus.

Joining Elba and Pally in Knuckles are Stockard Channing (The West Wing), Edi Patterson (The Righteous Gemstones), Scott Mescudi (Don’t Look Up), Ellie Taylor (Ted Lasso), Julian Barratt (Mindhorn), Rory McCann (Game of Thrones), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), Paul Scheer (Black Monday), and Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital). Ben Schwartz will make an appearance as Sonic, as will Tika Sumpter, reprising her role as Maddie. Colleen O’Shaughnessey will also return to voice Tails.

Knuckles will stream exclusively on Paramount Plus on April 26. Another peek at the six-episode series will come on Sunday, during the Super Bowl LVIII pre-game show.

The next level of puzzles.

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