Keanu Reeves is Shadow the Hedgehog in the third Sonic movie, fulfilling fan casting dreams

Shadow and a star
(Image credit: Sega, Lionsgate)

I can't quite say I called it, because Keanu Reeves was only second on my list of likely Hollywood heavyweights to be cast as Shadow the Hedgehog. But boy was I close. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed today that Mr. Wick himself is playing the big bad in the third Sonic the Hedgehog film, according to "multiple sources."

Shadow the Hedgehog is famous for several things, most of them hilariously bad lines of dialogue being delivered badly in Sonic Adventure 2 and his own starring game, 2005's Shadow the Hedgehog. We'll see if Reeves can dig deep to deliver the anti-hero's most famous expression "This is like taking candy from a baby, which is fine by me." It's a tougher sell than Keanu's trademark "whoa," but hey, he did Shakespeare too back in the '90s. Surely he can swing it. 

Shadow's solo outing remains an infamous example of '00s "edginess" pervading once cartoony games, as exhibited by Shadow holding a gun on its cover. I can only hope that the upcoming Sonic threequel gives this moment a nod with a John Wick-style gun-fu action scene. Go for the hard R, Sega & Paramount. The fanbase is ready for it. 

While I don't have my finger directly on the pulse of fan casting for Shadow, I have a feeling this is going to go over very well based on this video alone.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is out in theaters this December.

Wes Fenlon
Senior Editor

Wes has been covering games and hardware for more than 10 years, first at tech sites like The Wirecutter and Tested before joining the PC Gamer team in 2014. Wes plays a little bit of everything, but he'll always jump at the chance to cover emulation and Japanese games.

When he's not obsessively optimizing and re-optimizing a tangle of conveyor belts in Satisfactory (it's really becoming a problem), he's probably playing a 20-year-old Final Fantasy or some opaque ASCII roguelike. With a focus on writing and editing features, he seeks out personal stories and in-depth histories from the corners of PC gaming and its niche communities. 50% pizza by volume (deep dish, to be specific).