Sonic the Hedgehog 3 first look reveals Shadow the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is officially in production, with Shadow the Hedgehog on board.
sonic the hedgehog 3 shadow first look film

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 film director Jeff Fowler has confirmed the upcoming film adaptation is back in production, in a new Twitter / X post revealing a first look at Sonic’s rival, Shadow the Hedgehog. While the image included is of Shadow’s real-life stand-in – a 3D statue used to represent the relative position of the character for animator reference – there are plenty of details to analyse in this teaser shot.

As revealed, Shadow will maintain his iconic colour palette, as seen in the Sonic spin-off games, and in the closing moments of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and he will also rock a very familiar outfit in the film – complete with white gloves and white, red and black runners, accented by gold bracelets.

Despite being only a small glimpse at the character, Fowler’s post has caused major excitement in the Sonic the Hedgehog fan community, with many praising the accuracy of the stand-in, and sharing hope for the character’s upcoming appearance.

So far, it’s unknown what role Shadow the Hedgehog will play in the film – although it’s fair to assume he’ll be a major antagonist, in a similar vein to Knuckles in the prior live-action Sonic adventure. In this prior film, Shadow was revealed to be suspended in a tank of a sort, in what appeared to be a shady lab. Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is likely to expand on this early teaser.

Read: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 review – A silly, shiny gem

As for what we know of the character, in Sonic the Hedgehog canon, Shadow was created to be the “Ultimate Life Form” – a being with expanded knowledge, strength, and abilities – but was eventually captured and contained when he was deemed a threat to humanity.

Initially, he was woken to team up with Dr Robotnik to destroy the planet, but he was ultimately convinced to protect humanity, using his abilities for good.

Strangely enough, this plot has already been told in Knuckles’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 journey, so it will be intriguing to see how Sonic the Hedgehog 3 tackles Shadow’s unique character arc, and how heavily it borrows from the canon of the video game series.

For now, we’ll all need to stay patient to learn more. While Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is now officially back in development, after brief complications caused by the unwillingness of major studios to negotiate fairly with striking SAG-AFTRA and WGA union members, there’s still a long road ahead for the film.

As of writing, we know Ben Schwartz (Sonic), Colleen O’Shaughnessey (Tails), Idris Elba (Knuckles), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), Tika Sumpter (Maddie Wachowski), and Lee Majdoub (Agent Stone) are set to reprise their roles for the upcoming film, and that it will release in US cinemas on 20 December 2024.

We don’t currently know who is voicing Shadow the Hedgehog, or what his role in the upcoming film will be.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.