The Internet Reacts To Keanu Reeves As Shadow The Hedgehog

After years of speculation, it was revealed that The Matrix, John Wick, and Cyberpunk 2077 star Keanu Reeves is voicing the broody antihero Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Reeves had been a fan-favorite to play Shadow in Paramount’s live-action adaptation since the character debuted in Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s post-credits scene, so by the time his casting was confirmed, years of anticipation came to fruition across the internet in a testament both to the strength of the casting, and the love fans have for a character who has been done dirty by Sega for nearly 20 years.We Need To Talk About This John-Wick-But-It’s-Cute-Girls AnimeWithin minutes of the casting announcement, the internet got to work creating some incredible art mashing up Shadow and his actor, whether that be in previous iconic roles like Neo in The Matrix and John Wick, or by slapping them into a meme format.The reveal brought everyone’s attention to a scene from the first movie, in which Sonic, played by Parks & Recreation actor Ben Schwartz, watches the 1994 action flick Speed, and calls Reeves a “national treasure.” Given how referential these movies can be (Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has a gag referencing Schwartz’s Parks & Recreation role, for example), I would not be surprised if the blue blur makes a joke about Shadow sounding like Reeves. It’s just the kind of fanservicey, low-hanging fruit that shows up in these kinds of movies. And fans are already running with it.ParamountWhile the hype for this announcement is really strong, we still haven’t seen how Shadow will look in the movie. Well, most of us haven’t, at least. The first footage of Sonic the Hedgehog 3 premiered at Cinemacon last week, but hasn’t been shown to the general public yet. And rather than just imagining it, some folks are creating mockups with Reeves’ other roles. A lot of the mockups are just people putting some of the wild shit Johnny Silverhand says in Cyberpunk 2077 over scenes from Sonic, but the vibes are promising, at least.It’s not all celebratory reactions, though. Shadow’s voice in the live-action movies had been such a long debate that some folks were firmly in the camp of other actors portraying him. Star Wars actor Hayden Christensen was rumored to bein talks for the role, and Batman actor Robert Pattinson had been a fan-favorite casting for almost as long as Reeves. Overall, the announcement has sparked more excitement for the Sonic live-action universe, and fans are hopeful for more big stars to join the cast..Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will premiere in theaters on December 20. Until then, Paramount+ is launching a show focused on Idris Elba’s Knuckles on April 26. I’m still holding out hope Rouge the Bat shows up in a post-credits stinger so she can be in the movie. Let me dream, dammit.

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