Sonic The Hedgehog | Knuckles TV series allows makers to “really do character studies” says producer

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Upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog TV spin-off Knuckles isn’t just about a cartoon echidna; it’s also a character study, according to its exec producer.

Move over Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver, or Isabelle Huppert in The Piano Teacher. When it comes to character studies, it’s in a Sonic The Hedgehog TV series you’ll find the human condition most soulfully laid bare.

This is according to executive producer and Toby Ascher, who’s talked to Paste about his upcoming series Knuckles, coming soon to Paramount+. It’ll feature Idris Elba as the titular cartoon echidna who first appeared in 2022’s Sonic The Hedgehog 2. The six-part limited series, Ascher says, allows he and his creative team to “really do character studies.”

“We got really excited about the idea of expanding our characters in our world into television, specifically, because it gives us a platform to really do character studies,” Ascher said. “We knew that, with Shadow coming into Sonic 3 and some of the bigger things that we want to do, the Sonic franchise on the movie side is going to be these Avengers-level events. They’re going to be these big, exciting stories that have a lot of different characters. And so what television did for us is it gave us time to go into some of the more supporting characters in depth and really build them out in cool ways.”

Knuckles takes place between the 2022 sequel and Sonic The Hedgehog 3, out in December, and according to Ascher, it could be the first in a series of TV shows that connect to the movies and games in various ways. “If something is working really successfully, and we have a really great story to tell, we’re definitely going to expand on it,” Ascher said. “I don’t think there’s any closed doors on future television, future seasons of Knuckles, so everything is wide open. I think it’s important to us that we’re not just making stuff to make stuff.”

Knuckles, a six-part character study to rival Breaking Bad or On The Water Front, will stream on Paramount+ from 26th April. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 is due for release on 20th December 2024, meaning it’ll be eligible for a Best Picture nomination at the 2025 Oscars.

Read more: 8 classic Sega games we’d like to see turned into movies

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