“Knock, knock,” actor Idris Elba tweeted Tuesday afternoon. Casting perfect pieces started with less. Indeed, Elba’s playful post, along with the poster below of a clenched white fist and red furry arm, revealed that Knuckles’ character will appear in Sonic the hedgehog 2, and that he will be voiced by the English thespian who once single-handedly canceled the apocalypse on the basis of charisma alone. How appropriate.
Knuckles are, of course, everyone’s favorite short-beaked echidna – not least because they’ve probably never seen an actual photo of those spiky Australian mammals laying eggs (no really, look it up!). First published in 1994 with Sonic the hedgehog 3 for Sega Genesis, the red dude with even more attitude was essentially made to be a cooler and tougher version of the blue hedgehog. Since then, he’s been making his way from badassery through the Sega library.
It’s actually hard to imagine many older millennials who wouldn’t say that Knuckles is the coolest character in the Sonic library. While he appeared as a non-playable antagonist in Sonic 3, the following year, Knuckles co-starred with Sonic in the apt title Sonic and Knuckles, also for the Sega Genesis. That game included the rather nifty trick of coming up with a port that allows gamers to use Knuckles in earlier, older Sega games like Sonic the hedgehog 2 and 3. With his red look and devilish demeanor, Knuckles initially stood out because he could run almost as fast as Sonic and also had the ability to glide long distances and climb walls with his spiky, titular knuckles.
The character has mellowed somewhat in popularity over the past 25 years as the Sonic cast of characters has grown to comedic heights. The character also got a facelift when he was turned into the Master Crystal’s stoic guardian on the floating Angel Island in Sonic Adventure (1998). But by casting someone like Elba as the voice of the tough rodent, Paramount Pictures and director Jeff Fowley know which CGI beast should appear as the coolest of them all.
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