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Friday, September 24, 2021

This Week in Movie News: Idris Elba Joins ‘Sonic’ Sequel, Margot Robbie to Work With Wes Anderson and More

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Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:


Idris Elba is Knuckles: One of the most distinct voices in Hollywood today will be heard in the next Sonic the Hedgehog movie. English actor Idris Elba (The Suicide Squad) has joined the cast of the video game adaptation, a follow-up to the hit 2020 original, personally confirming on social media that he will vocally perform the part of Knuckles the Echidna in the sequel. No stranger to voicing animal characters, he previously played an African buffalo, a sea lion and a Bengal tiger in the respective Disney features Zootopia, Finding Dory and The Jungle Book. Due in theaters in April 2022, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 brings back Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Jim Carrey as over-the-tope villain Dr. Ivo Robotnik and James Marsden and Tika Sumpter reprising their live-action human roles as Tom and Maddie.


Wes Anderson to direct Margot Robbie: Speaking of the cast of The Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn actress Margot Robbie is the latest name attached to Wes Anderson’s next movie. She is also one of only two so far to be a newcomer to Anderson’s troupe of regulars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robbie’s character will likely be a supporting role in the untitled feature, which is shooting in Spain. This project will also be the first time the Oscar-nominated actress will work with cast mates Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody and Tom Hanks. The first three of those names are also part of Anderson’s latest, delayed film, The French Dispatch, which will come out first, slated for this fall. Then the untitled feature will possibly arrive sometime in late 2022.

In addition to Robbie, two more actors were announced for the untitled Wes Anderson movie later in the week, also via The Hollywood Reporter. One of them is Jason Schwartzman, whose breakthrough role was in Anderson’s sophomore feature, Rushmore. He has since appeared in four more Anderson features, including The French Dispatch, and three of the filmmaker’s shorts, and he voiced characters in Anderson’s two animated movies as well. Unlike the other Anderson regulars attached to this new project, Schwartzman has worked with Hanks, in Saving Mr. Banks. The other new addition is Rupert Friend, who will be making his second appearance in a Wes Anderson movie, after his first with The French Dispatch.


Clancy Brown joins John Wick 4: Beloved character actor Clancy Brown, who was last seen on the big screen in the Margot Robbie-produced Promising Young Woman, has joined the next installment of the John Wick franchise. Deadline reports the Shawshank Redemption co-star and longtime voice of Lex Luthor in DC animated projects, has been cast in John Wick: Chapter 4. His role is unknown, but he’ll appear alongside returning lead Keanu Reeves, regular supporting player Lance Reddick and fellow newcomers Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada and Shamier Anderson. Brown and Reddick both had recurring roles on the TV series Lost but they never worked together.


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II to star in By All: Another actor known for DC adaptations who is in the news this week is Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Aquaman and Watchmen TV series star has signed on to lead a dystopian crime thriller called By All. Steve Caple Jr. (Creed II) is producing and directing the Warner Bros. movie, which is about a man living in a world without police — where justice is instead crowd-sourced — who must go on the run following some kind of tragedy. The screenplay is by Juel Taylor and Tony Rettenmaier (Space Jam: A New Legacy) based off their short story of the same name.

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