Paramount Pictures has a gift for nostalgic video game fans. Sega’s superstar speedster, Sonic the Hedgehog, is getting his own live-action movie come next year and he’s going to be voiced by comedic actor Ben Schwartz.
Sonic the Hedgehog is set for a holiday-season release on November 15, 2019, and will blend live-action with computer-generated characters, a technique that was heavily featured in the Transformers films. Which means there’s a good chance audiences can expect the blue spikey-haired hedgehog to keep his classic design.
The first Sonic video game was released by Sega in 1991. Since then the character has appeared in many titles across game platforms.
Like Sonic, Schwartz has a following of his own. The actor is most recognizable as Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation, a sleazy entrepreneur who funds his business ventures with his wealthy father’s money. Schwartz’s improvised lines and try-hard persona helped him gain popularity in the ensemble comedy, often acting as a sidekick to Aziz Ansari’s character Tom Haverford. Schwartz also played Clyde Oberholdt on Showtime’s House of Lies alongside Kristen Bell and Don Cheadle.
This will not be the first time Schwartz performs as a voice actor. He is currently playing Dewey Duck on Disney Channel’s reboot of Duck Tales. In Bojack Horseman, he voiced Rutabaga Rabbitowitz, an anthropomorphic rabbit. He is also set to play Leonardo in Nickelodeon’s Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In a tweet announcing his casting, Schwartz noted that he seems to be getting type-casted in the world of animation. Though, given his level of enthusiasm, it doesn’t seem like he minds it too much.
I. LOVE. 90S. BLUE. ICONIC. CHARACTERS. I am beyond excited about this movie. It’s gonna be amazing. I have been training by running, wagging my finger and impatiently tapping my foot. GOTTA GO FAST! https://t.co/SOYqgnf3ym
— Ben Schwartz (@rejectedjokes) August 9, 2018
Also in Sonic the Hedgehog will be James Marsden, and Jim Carrey, who will lend his voice as longtime Sonic villain, Dr. Robotnik.