Sonic the Hedgehog and the newest sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sweeping viewers’ hearts at the speed of sound. The iconic blue blur finally made it to the silver screen, and the Sega Sammy Group added a few new changes to the story to keep things interesting. From the gorgeous CGI animation that blends so well with the live actors to the high-octane action sequences and compelling performances of the cast, Sonic’s cinematic world is really starting to take shape! Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is the highly successful sequel, taking a big step towards building lore for the next installment: the middle credits scene reveals none other than Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic’s main rival and a wildly popular canon character.
With Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and a Knuckles spinoff is already in the works, there’s a lot of debate about which actor should be picked to play Shadow. Like every member of Team Sonic, the actors need to get everything right: a healthy dose of stoic intensity, a bit of brooding, and a competitive spritz of edginess is exactly the kind of formula we’re looking for. While we wait for the official casting to be announced, here are our take on the eight actors who will be doing the lethal work that brings Shadow to life.
8 Ralph Fiennes
You may recognize this famous actor by several things — his various theatrical performances, his unforgettable portrayal of Voldemort in Harry Potter and his appearance as M in Sky fall and No Time to Diejust to name a few. Ralph Fiennes has a knack for an imposing yet controlled antagonistic character; his ability to capture power and control in a single line is unrivaled, and he’s about to add a new layer of depth to Shadow.
7 Keith David
Old fan Keith David probably know him from his work at Platoon and Requiem for Dreamswhile newer fans may recognize his voice as the Arbitrator of Circle of light or President at Rick and Morty. Regardless, David’s rich vocal range is deep, evocative, and poetic. He honed his ability to communicate on the theatrical stage, and his extensive career shows us that he is capable of handling the subtle nuances for almost any character. Imagine the bite and grace he can bring to Shadow!
6 Pedro Pascal
Did you first know him as Prince Oberyn Game of Thrones or Din Djarin as the titular bounty hunter in That mandalorianYou may appreciate Pedro Pascal for his friendly yet calm personality. His voice is rich and memorable, and he can describe the right level of bitterness for Shadow’s persona. In the more vulnerable moments where he struggles with his identity, Pascal is able to bring a little more humanity into the role.
5 Adam Driver
Not suprisingly Adam Driver has garnered so much critical acclaim in recent years. From the cruel and corrupt Kylo Ren in Star Wars trilogy sequel to the emotionally charged Charlie in wedding story, Driver has shown us time and time again that he is great at getting audiences into their feelings. He has a way of making even very evil characters feel trustworthy and empathetic, and he’s equally gifted at exhibiting fear, anger, and control, all major driving forces for Shadow.
4 Travis Willingham
Another popular voice actor, Travis Willingham has a certain level of intensity and subdued aggression that shines through in many of his characters. He’s great with his straightforward, even delivery and his vocal expressions for the fight sequences are an art in itself. His depiction of Yu Kanda in D Gray Men, Mori-Senpai from Ouran SMA High School Host Club and the Spartan Frederic-104 in Circle of light the franchise all lends itself to its potential as Shadow the Hedgehog.
3 J. Michael Tatum
This acclaimed voice actor has been all over the anime world for years, and his reach is impressive. J. Michael Tatum has done everything from the superfluous and hilarious to the most prestigious character you can imagine. In terms of playing Shadow, Scar of Fullmetal Alchemist and Acnologia from fairy tail were just a few examples of how well he could do with the Ultimate Lifeform.
2 Christian Bale
Christian Bale is no stranger to voice work, and one of the most promising examples of this is his ability to stay in character using The Dark Knight’s husky vocal disguise. Drop this down a few notches, and you’ve almost got the in-game performance of Shadow’s perfect voice. Bale’s time as Batman demonstrated his ability to tap into darker characters, and his work on lighter projects like Howl Mobile Castle show even more reach.
1 Keanu Reeves
According to GGRecon, fans are already fiercely vying for their own National Treasure to voice Shadow, and why not? She’s perfect for the job — Shadows are always dark and brooding with a hint of strong emotion, and there it is Keanu Reeves shine. With intricate and intricate characters like Neo and John Wick under his belt and experience in voice acting, he’s already the complete package. As an added bonus, Sonic is already a huge fan!
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