First Details Arrive On ‘Knuckles’ As Show Begins Production

By Matthew Moorcroft

After having been in announced in 2022 with very little since, we finally have our first major piece of news to come out for the Knuckles show, and all of it is pretty fascinating stuff when all is said and done. Both Deadline and Variety were reporting this information prior.

The series, now seemingly called Knuckles, will be set in between the events of the second and third Sonic films and will follow Knuckles as he teaches the local sheriff Will Whippet on the tenets of the Echidna clan and learn about themselves and each other in the process.

Idris Elba, beyond simply returning as Knuckles, will also be an executive producer alongside original director Jeff Fowler, who is directing the first episode of the show prior to starting production on Sonic the Hedgehog 3. In terms of other returning cast members, Adam Pally will be returning as Well Whippet in a co-lead role, and Tika Sumpter will be returning as Maddie.

New cast members include Kid Cudi, Edi Patterson, Julian Barratt, Ellie Taylor, and Rory McCann. No word on who any of them are playing, though McCann’s role has been clarified to be a “guest role” so don’t expect his character to be a major presence.

In terms of behind the scenes talent, John Whittington will be the head writer of the show (as well as executive producer). Whittington was previously a writer on Sonic 2 and will also be returning for Sonic 2. Other writers include Brian Schacter, who previously worked on as a staff writer on the acclaimed animated show Green Eggs & Ham, and James Madejski, who has zero writing experience outside of small short films.

Outside of Fowler, the directors include Ged Wright (making his directorial debut, previously a VFX artist on Man of Steel, Iron Man 2, and Harry Potter), Brandon Trost (also making a directorial debut, previously was the cinematographer on Sonic 2), Jorma Taccone (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping), and Carol Banker (Glee, Titans, Doom Patrol, The X-Files, Swamp Thing, Gotham).

What I find interesting about much of this info is how VFX heavy the behind the scenes crew actually is. This shouldn’t come as big of a surprise, as Fowler himself comes from a VFX background, but it’s a clear sign that the show is likely looking for crew members with experience working with heavy amounts of CGI. The comedy writers on board also peak my interest, particularly the inclusion of Jorma Taccone, whose film Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is one of the funniest films of the past decade (seriously, please watch it if you haven’t).

I don’t expect Knuckles to be as groundbreaking as that though. While the show’s crew is solid and the Sonic movies have a proven track record of being solid (if unambitious) family fare, the show’s premise gives me a bit of pause. One of the weakest parts of the films by far is it’s continued focus on the human cast in favour of the more interesting and engaging Sonic cast, and this show seems to be doubling down on it. The idea of Knuckles teaching the echidna ways to a cop, maybe obviously, isn’t exactly the most appealing premise in the world, though maybe it could lead to some more backstory for Knuckles.

Will there be other characters introduced here? Will Paramount take this opportunity to use the Knuckles show as our first look at Shadow (though it’s likely Shadow has yet to be cast)? Who knows, honestly. If anything, this announcement mostly confirms my theory that Fowler is likely heading straight into filming for Sonic 3 once work on this is done, meaning I fully expect to see some crew overlap.

Knuckles is exclusive to Paramount+ and is scheduled to release in late 2023.

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