Back in the pre-pandemic times when people went to movies and box office receipts were a valid measure of success, Sonic the Hedgehog was a surprise global hit. While most video game based movies have had their struggles, Sonic became one of the most successful films based on a game, so a sequel being greenlit was far from shocking. We knew, thanks to the first movie's post-credits sequence, that Sonic's video game sidekick Tails was almost certainly going to be in the next film. But now it's seemingly been confirmed that another popular franchise character, Knuckles the Echidna, will also appear.
The evidence comes from set photos published by the Daily Mail. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is currently filming in Canada and the UK paper has several photos of a scene being shot that includes James Marsden and Tika Sumpter reprising their roles from the first movie, running through the streets of British Colombia.
However, there's also a shot of a crew member setting up three stand-in figures. The large plastic models are designed to let the camera know how the CGI characters will fit into the frame. One is for Sonic, one is for Tails, and the third is Knuckles. They're pretty nice quality figures, they look like they might have been standing next to a display of Sonic video games at your local Gamestop.
Seeing Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is something fans had already expressed an interest in. Knuckles is an extremely popular character within the franchise, so the fact that he would be added is not surprising. Still, this is the first confirmation that we've seen from the movie itself that Knuckles would in fact be included.
How Knuckles fits in the story is anybody's guess at this point. In the character's video game debut he's originally tricked by Dr. Robotnik into fighting Sonic, before eventually discovering the truth and fighting alongside the superfast Hedgehog. We could certainly see something similar happen here. While it's difficult to extrapolate what's going on based on the stand-in figures, the three characters do appear to be standing together as allies, so it would seem Sonic and Knuckles will be on the same team in the film, at least eventually.
So now the question that many will be wondering about is just who will end up voicing Knuckles. One of the reasons that we know fans wanted to see Knuckles in the first place is that there was something of a grassroots social media campaign to try and get Dwayne Johnson in the role as the echidna. The actor has admitted to being a fan of the video game franchise, so it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility that it could happen.