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Idris Elba to voice flying Echidna Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The perfect voice for Sonic's coolest friend.

Paramount Pictures and Sega

You didn't have to see the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie to know it faced rocky times. The film's first posters teased a somewhat creepy design for its titular hero, causing backlash, outrage and delays that resulted in a much cuter, charming final product. The lead-up to the film's sequel has been far less turbulent. Earlier this year, fans were delighted to see on-set photos revealing Sonic would be joined by both Tails, his videogame sidekick, and Knuckles the Echidna in the second film.

Now fans are pleased to learn one more bit of info about Sonic the Hedgehog 2: Knuckles will apparently be voiced by Idris Elba.

Elba has plenty of experience doing voice work, for roles like Chief Bogo in Zootopia and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, but Sonic the Hedgehog fans are applauding the casting as a diverse choice that recognizes that many fans see Knuckles coded as a person of color.

It doesn't hurt that Elba's voice is a pretty perfect match for the version of the character featured in the 1996 Sonic The Hedgehog anime film, either.

The film's story is still under wraps, but rumors and leaks have suggested that it at least partially mirrors the plot of the third Sonic the Hedgehog video game -- with Jim Carey's Dr. Robotnick teaming up with Knuckles against Sonic and Tails.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is scheduled to be released on April 8, 2022.