Keanu Reeves lends voice to Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Keanu Reeves lends voice to Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Keanu Reeves is to voice Shadow in 'Sonic the Hedgehog 3'.

The 59-year-old star has joined the cast of the film series based on Sega's successful video game franchise and is to feature alongside Ben Schwartz, James Marsden and Jim Carrey.

The first footage from 'Sonic 3', slated for release in December, was revealed at CinemaCon last week and disclosed that the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Carrey) was depressed after the events of the second film but recaptures his mojo with the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog.

The character was first introduced in the 2001 video game 'Sonic Adventure 2' and has extraordinary speed and Chaos Control powers that allow him to manipulate both space and time.

He is initially seen as the anti-Sonic but later becomes an ally to the blue protagonist in the games.

The 'Sonic the Hedgehog' franchise launched with a successful flick in 2020 - which was then surpassed by the 2022 sequel - and producer Toby Ascher recently revealed that he wants new releases of the movies to become "Avengers-level events".

Ascher, who has co-created the new Paramount+ TV spin-off series 'Knuckles', told Paste: "We got really excited about the idea of expanding our characters in our world into television, specifically, because it gives us a platform to really do character studies.

"We knew that, with Shadow coming into 'Sonic 3' and some of the bigger things that we want to do, the 'Sonic' franchise on the movie side is going to be these Avengers-level events.

"They’re going to be these big, exciting stories that have a lot of different characters.

"And so what television did for us is it gave us time to go into some of the more supporting characters in depth and really build them out in cool ways."