Sonic 3 movie: Everything we know right now

(L to R) Tails, Sonic and Knuckles stand in front of a portal ring and a pair of Robotnik's drones
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures via Twitter)

The news of a Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie has been out for a short while now, and it always made sense that we'd get more of Sonic, Tails and Knuckles. 

Before Sonic The Hedgehog 2 even hit theaters, we knew a Knuckles spin-off series featuring the voice acting work of Idris Elba was confirmed for Paramount Plus. Think of the show as Sonic 2's version of the Peacemaker spinoff from The Suicide Squad.

But now we have a release date for the third installment in the Sonic the Hedgehog series. An official tweet (opens in new tab) announced December 20, 2024, as the release date for Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Though with that date being significantly into the future, it remains to be seen if that release date will hold. 

Sonic 3 movie release date

After months of speculation, we finally have a release date. Per the Sonic Movie's official Twitter (opens in new tab), the third Sonic the Hedgehog movie will hit theaters on December 20, 2024. We also got Sonic, Tails and Knuckles in the promotional art, all but confirming that the three characters will return — not that there was any doubt.

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Of course, the announcement arrived in August 2022, and this release date is in December 2024. There is still a long time to go before we get an official trailer, let alone actually see this movie in theaters. The release date could get pushed up, pushed back or even be dropped entirely if Paramount gets acquired in that time and their new CEO decides to write off Sonic 3 a la Batgirl.

But for now, let's take this release date announcement for what it is: good news.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 movie cast speculation

Remember when I said I had some bad news? Well, that's about one of the principal actors of the first two movies: Jim Carrey. On March 31, 2022, Access Hollywood (opens in new tab) (around the 4:19 mark) published an interview with Carrey where he said he's "retiring." 

His decision seems to be final, but he also spoke about it as if it was just for the moment, and he referred to this as a "break" from acting. Carrey also said that the right script written "in gold ink" that would be "really important for people to see" would be enough for him to come back. 

Why is he stepping back? Well, Carrey said "I have enough. I've done enough. I am enough." Sounds like someone who's lived an amazing life.

Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) sits in a truck in the first Sonic movie

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

So, that could take Jim Carrey out as Robotnik, as Sonic 2 producer Neal H Moritz told IGN (opens in new tab) that "we wouldn't even try" to recast the character. Fellow producer Toby Ascher said that "Jim Carrey is always a member of the Sonic family and he'll always have a place in these movies and TV shows as long as he'd like to be around. We love Jim and he's so special, and what he does with Robotnik is so incredible. We would love him as long as he'd like to be there with us."

Moritz did give folks reason for optimism for a return from Carrey, saying "And I have a feeling that he loves Robotnik so much that I don't think he'll be able to walk away from it."

And consider this your spoiler warning for Sonic 2 plot points!

A close-up of Sonic the hedgehog in the Sonic movie

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Aside from Carrey, it appears that the entire live-action and voice-actor cast of Sonic 2 should return, as nobody was killed off in that movie. That means the following cast is still in play:

  • Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Colleen O'Shaughnessey as the voice of Miles "Tails" Prower, Sonic's new best friend and sidekick
  • Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic's new friend who was introduced as an enemy allied with Dr. Robotnik.
  • Donna Jay Fulks as Longclaw the brown owl who speaks to Sonic from holographic recordings
  • James Marsden as Green Hills sheriff Tom Wachowski
  • Tika Sumpter as local vet Maddie Wachowski, who is also Tom's wife
  • Natasha Rothwell as Rachel, Maddie's older sister
  • Melody Nosipho Niemann as Rachel's daughter Jojo
  • Adam Pally as Wade Whipple, the hapless deputy sheriff of Green Hills
  • Shemar Moore as Rachel's fiancé Randall, who was also an undercover GUN agent
  • Lee Majdoub as Stone, Dr. Robotnik's assistant
  • Tom Butler as GUN leader Commander Walters

There's also the matter of Jason Griffith, who has voiced one of Sonic's rivals, Shadow the Hedgehog — who appeared in Sonic 2's post-credits scene. Because O'Shaughnessey was brought in to voice Tails, there's reason to suspect that Griffith will also voice Shadow. Kirk Thornton has also voiced Shadow.

Sonic 3 movie plot speculation

All that said, it's not hard to see what we could be getting in a Sonic 3 movie, especially if the movie uses the available source material for storytelling.

Shadow, for those who don't know, was created by Gerald Robotnik — the grandfather of the Eggman Jim Carrey played in the first two movies — as a part of Project Shadow (which was meant to find a way to immortality).  While Carrey's absence would seem like a big issue, it can be easily solved — especially if you bring in someone like Jack Black to portray his grandfather in flashback scenes.

Shadow, an occasional rival of Sonic's, makes perfect sense for a villain. And what would a villain be without a crony? We bet Stone — if Robotnik is gone and he needs a new boss — would love to work on the Robotnik legacy with Shadow. 

And the appearance of this new super-duper Sonic would likely force Sonic, Tails and Knuckles to work together again to stop him.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.