The actor, who plays Teddy Flood in “Westworld,” is the first cast member confirmed for a feature film adaptation of Sega’s blockbuster video game franchise.
After “Detective Pikachu,” Hollywood is now casting “Sonic the Hedgehog.”
Paramount Pictures is backing this one, having acquired the distribution rights in 2017, with Jeff Fowler directing.
Fowler worked as a writer and animator on several short films from “Deadpool” director Tim Miller, and Miller is again involved with “Sonic the Hedgehog” as an executive producer, as is “The Fast and the Furious” franchise man Neal H. Moritz.
Just as Legendary Entertainment’s “Detective Pikachu” is to pair its little yellow Pokémon (Ryan Reynolds) with a human actor (Justice Smith), “Sonic the Hedgehog” is doing the same.
One immediate difference is that “Great Detective Pikachu,” the game upon which the Pokémon movie is based, already features such a team-up, whereas Sonic is usually confined to his own fictional universe along with two-tailed fox Miles “Tails” Prower, Amy Rose, Knuckles the Echidna, and other friends.
In the “Sonic” franchise, series antagonist Doctor Robotnik (aka Dr. Eggman) is its most notable human character, responsible for the nefarious schemes and inventions that require Sonic’s intervention — so, in the absence of other information, perhaps this is the role that’s been earmarked for Marsden.
Humans played a more prominent role in mid-2000s reboot “Sonic the Hedgehog” and its follow-up, “Sonic Unleashed,” which most fans prefer to forget about.
Otherwise, the human populace at large is generally relegated to background relevance, their cities and settlements present as high-speed playgrounds for Sonic and pals to tear through on the way to averting disaster.
James Marsden achieved worldwide recognition through his involvement in the “X-Men” franchise as team leader Scott Summers, aka Cyclops.
He can currently be seen in season two of sci-fi drama “Westworld,” and is associated with the role of Prince Edward in Walt Disney’s animated adventure “Disenchanted” opposite Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.