James Marsden joins Sonic the Hedgehog as the human lead. Paramount Pictures is moving forward with plans to bring SEGA's beloved blue hedgehog to the big screen. Originally developed by Sony Pictures back in 2014, the project moved to Paramount late last year. The move came after Deadpool's Tim Miller signed on as a producer while Jeff Fowler is set to direct. After taking a few months of development, Paramount has been moving quickly to get Sonic off the ground.
Sonic updates have been rolling in since spring of this year. The most recent updates have been centered on who would star opposite the titular Sonic as the human lead. Reports pointed to Paul Rudd being considered, but Paramount said that was false. Then, names like Jack Black and Owen Wilson surfaced, but it appears none of them were the studio's choice for the gig.
Variety reports Westworld star James Marsden is set to the play the human lead in Sonic the Hedgehog. This report did not reveal any character details for Marsden, but the earlier casting details suggest the human lead is named Tom and is described as a cop who helps Sonic on this adventure.
Marsden is a big name for Sonic to collect. He's currently one of the many stars on one of the biggest shows on television and previously had a long stint as Cyclops in the X-Men franchise. Marsden is a recognizable face and name, and he should be able to handle both the comedic and dramatic parts of the role. While he may not be a bankable star on his own, Marsden shouldn't have to carry that burden with the Sonic movie considering the wide-spread popularity of the character. He also has a bit of history working with CGI characters thanks to 2007's Enchanted and 2011's Hop.
Securing a high-profile name like Marsden could ease the search on finding someone to voice Sonic though. Based on Marsden being the choice for Paramount, it appears they'll take the opposite approach to casting that Legendary Pictures did for Detective Pikachu. Legendary secured Ryan Reynolds to do the voice of Pikachu in the movie and surrounded him with younger, more unknown stars in the live-action roles.
While the rest of the cast for Sonic has yet to be announced, Paramount could add more stars as Doctor Robotnik and any other human roles, then go for lesser known talent for the voice. However, they could just as easily do the opposite or even cast an entire A-list cast for Sonic the Hedgehog. With a reported July filming start date, it shouldn't be too long for the rest of the cast to be revealed. Whether they get more stars or not, Marsden is a nice get to kick off the casting process.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2019) release date: Nov 15, 2019