Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will be speeding its way into cinemas in April next year (all being well) after the first movie proved to be a huge hit.
Despite a backlash to the frankly terrifying first trailer, Sonic the Hedgehog defied the odds to be actually quite good and in a year where cinemas were hugely affected by the ongoing global pandemic, it managed to gross more than $300 million worldwide to become one of the year's biggest movies.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 officially went into development in May 2020 with director Jeff Fowler and writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller all back for the sequel, but Fowler told Digital Spy that he'd already been planning a sequel when making the first movie.
Fowler told us that he was already "doing some plotting and some scheming for future movies" so at least he'll get to realise those, as well as build on the credits scene that brought the beloved Tails into the movie universe.
But what does that mean we can expect from Sonic the Hedgehog 2?
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 release date: When will Sonic the Hedgehog 2 be released?
It's been confirmed that the sequel will arrive in cinemas on April 8, 2022 in the UK and US, but whether that release date holds given everything that's happened in the intervening months remains to be seen.
SONIC 2 IS OFFICIALLY COMING 2 THEATERS 4/8/22!!! pic.twitter.com/Xpci0HzK5d
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) July 24, 2020
Filming on the sequel is reportedly due to start in March 2021 through May 2021 in British Colombia under the codename Emerald Hill, a nod to the first zone in the video game Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
That fits with the planned April 2022 release, but as with every upcoming movie right now, the release date is subject to change and delays, so don't go booking your days off just yet.
Sonic the Hedgehog ending: How does it set up Sonic the Hedgehog 2?
After unwittingly putting himself in the sights of Dr Robotnik, Sonic has to use his rings to escape to another world.
There's only one problem, though. He dropped them when he was surprised by Tom (James Marsden) who discovered Sonic hiding in his shed, and one of the rings opened a portal to San Francisco which they all fell through.
Tom agrees to help Sonic recover the rings and the pair go on a road trip to San Francisco, avoiding Dr Robotnik and his drone army along the way. Dr Robotnik wants to capture Sonic to use his "extraordinary" power in his drones.
It all builds to a final confrontation between Sonic and Dr Robotnik. Using the power from one of Sonic's quills, Dr Robotnik chases Sonic all over the world thanks to the portals generated by the rings.
They end up back in Green Hills and just when it seems that Dr Robotnik has defeated Sonic, Tom steps in to protect his friend.
Sonic recovers, supercharges and, using one of his rings to open a portal to a mushroom planet, manages to destroy Dr Robotnik's ship and push him through the portal before it closes.
Sonic moves in with Tom and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) and the US government decides to let Sonic live in peace, erasing any existence of their work with Dr Robotnik.
The first credits sequence catches up with Dr Robotnik on the mushroom planet, 87 days later and sporting a look more in line with the video games. (Weirdly, it's a scene that was shown in one of the trailers.)
He's still got Sonic's quill and promises to be "home by Christmas", despite the fact his only friend is a rock and he has no resources or supplies.
For fans though, the real treat comes in the second sequence that takes us back to Green Hills. A ring portal opens and none other than Tails jumps out of it, having seemingly tracked Sonic there.
"If these readings are accurate, he's here. I found him. I just hope I'm not too late," he says, before he flies off to presumably meet Sonic.
So a sequel will likely see Sonic and Tails reunite to battle whatever it is that Tails fears he might be too late for. Did they know each other in the past? The sequel could well flash back to their childhoods to fill in their backstory.
And of course, Dr Robotnik will find his way back to Green Hills to cause more mischief, giving the sequel the perfect opportunity to introduce the Chaos Emeralds which can be used to teleport (among many other powers).
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 cast: Who's coming back for Sonic the Hedgehog 2?
So far, the only confirmed name for the sequel is James Marsden as Thomas Michael "Tom" Wachowski. But we expect all of the main cast to come back.
So that would be Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Jim Carrey as Dr Robotnik, and Tika Sumpter as Tom's wife Maddie.
The post-credits scene had Colleen O'Shaughnessey voice Tails, as she currently does in the wider Sonic world. Whether she'll reprise her role for the sequel or if it'll be recast for Tails' bigger role in the sequel remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, we could see returns from supporting characters like Lee Majdoub's long-suffering government agent Stone and Frank C Turner as Crazy Carl, who turns out to be not so crazy in his sightings of Sonic, AKA "the blue devil".
It's also been reported, but not confirmed, that the sequel will bring in Knuckles. Co-writer Pat Casey had previously teased that the sequel could feature Knuckles after the Echidna tribe were seen at the start of the first movie.
"Knuckles is an Echidna so I would guess they're related in some way, but what exactly that relationship is… We'll have to see how things develop. But the Echidna tribe was definitely not chosen at random," he told Fandom.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 trailer: When will Sonic the Hedgehog 2 trailer be online?
You won't be seeing new footage for a while of course, as the sequel is only in its very early stages of development.
Still, when it does arrive, we're sure the makers will be hoping for a better reaction to its first trailer...
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is set for release on April 8, 2022.
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