James Marsden to Star in 'Sonic the Hedgehog': Here's Everything We Know So Far

James Marsden

James Marsden (HBO’s Westworld) will star in Sonic the Hedgehog, according to Variety. The actor will probably not be playing the titular anthropomorphic blue spiny mammal, however. (Sorry if you thought your fantasy was coming true!) Here’s everything we know about the movie so far.

What’s the source material?

First released in 1991 for the Sega Console game system, Sonic the Hedgehog followed a blue hedgehog as he sought to defeat a villainous scientist named Doctor Ivo Robotnik. The game was well received by critics and the public, inspiring ports to other platforms and many sequels, becoming one of the most popular game franchises in history.

Several television adaptations have been made over the years, starting in 1993 with The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog. A film version has been under development since 2014. Sonic the Hedgehog also appears in a brief speaking role in Wreck-It Ralph (below; voiced by Roger Craig Smith) and in Ready Player One as a character avatar.

How will James Marsden fit into the story?

It’s not clear yet, since the official plot has not yet been revealed. We understand that the film will be a live-action/animation hybrid, so perhaps Marsden will help Sonic to defeat Dr. Robotnik, or whatever mission becomes the primary narrative.

Marsden is a great choice, though. He established himself in the geek community by portraying Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops, in the original trilogy of X-Men films, then appeared in Superman Returns and a rich variety of comic and dramatic roles. He reprised the role of Scott Summers in X-Men: Days of Future Past and is currently starring in HBO’s Westworld. Whatever role he plays in Sonic the Hedgehog, he’ll be a great anchor for the film.

Who will be directing?

Jeff Fowler. He has been working alongside Tim Miller (Deadpool) for years at Blur Studios; they cowrote (and Fowler directed) the animated short Gopher Broke in 2004, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Miller came on board to lead the development of the project in October 2016 and is now serving as an executive producer.

When can we see the movie?

Paramount, which acquired rights to the project last year, has scheduled Sonic the Hedgehog for theatrical release on November 15, 2019. That means it will open in theaters one week after the 25th James Bond adventure, one week before an untitled Fox / Marvel adventure and two weeks before the sequel to Disney’s Frozen. In other words: a busy month!