HBO’s latest flagship show is based on a video. The number one movie in theaters is based on a video game — and it just became the highest-grossing video game movie in history. So clearly after decades of Hollywood flubbing one game adaptation after another, it’s started to get the hang of things. Given how enormously popular the hits have been lately, you should only expect to see more in the future as well.

One of the first video-game adaptations that really kicked off this new era was Sonic the Hedgehog, and then its sequel, which was boldly titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2. While we await Sonic the Hedgehog 3 — which is happening — there will also be a spinoff TV series on the Paramount+ streaming service, all about Sonic’s antagonist turned ally, Knuckles the Echidna. The show has just gone into production in London.

Idris Elba, who voiced Knuckles in Sonic 2, will reprise his role, as will Adam Pally, who plays Wade Whipple. According to the synopsis from Paramount, in the TV series Knuckles “agrees to train Wade as his protégé and teach him the ways of the Echidna warrior.” Tika Sumpter will make a guest star appearance in her role as Maddie from the Sonic movies, and Jeff Fowler, the director of the Sonic movie franchise, is directing the Knuckles pilot.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Paramount Pictures and Sega of America

READ MORE: An Entire Sonic the Hedgehog Universe Is Planned

This is quite a turnaround from the early days of the Sonic film franchise. The first trailer for the film was so poorly received — specifically because the look of the title character had strayed very far from the design of Sonic from the Sega video games — that the movie had to be delayed and Sonic completely revamped. The finished product, featuring a more faithful Sonic, was a hit, and so was the sequel, which introduced and equally familiar-looking Tails and Knuckles.

That decision feels increasingly like a turning point in Hollywood’s relationship with video games. Look at The Super Mario Bros. Movie and how closely it hews to the look of the Nintendo games. Then look at how the original live-action Mario movie adapted the concept in 1993. Then look at the box office totals for all these movies. And you see where we are now, and why.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is scheduled to open in theaters on December 20, 2024.

You can sign up for a trial of Paramount+ here.

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