Simu Liu Assures Us Shang-Chi Sequel is “Happening”, While Keanu Reeves is Cast as Shadow in Sonic the Hedgehog 3

It’s been a busy Monday for news on Canadian film stars, as not one but two stories have broken to start off the week.

The first of these stories is that Simu Liu, best known for the hit TV show Kim’s Convenience and Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, has finally confirmed that a sequel is in the works for the latter. 

As early as August last year Simu Liu had been hesitant to offer any updates on the sequel beyond the fact that it would follow the then-planned Avengers: The Kang Dynasty in 2026 at the earliest, which was to be directed by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton. However, plans have since changed as Kang the Conqueror actor, Jonathan Majors, was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and was consequently fired from the role by Marvel. While rumours persist that Kang may still be recast and he could stay the next big-bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Cretton has since left the project to focus on the Shang-Chi sequel, as well as the upcoming miniseries Wonder Man, which he helped create alongside showrunner Andrew Guest and will star Emmy winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in the title role.

Given that Cretton is not running Wonder Man, it’s safe to assume that he has since begun work on the Shang-Chi sequel, which in turn has led to Liu responding to a fan on social media who wondered if Marvel had simply abandoned the character, to which the actor playfully responded, “I proooomiss it’s happening.” Odd spelling aside, this is a welcome development in the MCU, as it’s no secret that Marvel has been floundering ever since the conclusion of The Infinity Saga with Avengers: Endgame, yet Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has been one of the immense bright spots of this turbulent era, featuring the best fight choreography of the entire cinematic universe, not to mention a star-making performance from Liu. Here’s hoping that more updates come sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile, in other news, the third instalment in the Sonic the Hedgehog cinematic franchise has just added its second Canadian actor to its cast alongside Doctor Eggman’s Jim Carrey, as Keanu Reeves has been cast to voice fan-favourite character Shadow the Hedgehog. The addition of Shadow in the franchise was always inevitable in the event of a third instalment, especially as Idris Elba’s Knuckles the Echidna was already introduced in the second entry, who will be returning for the sequel also. 

Shadow was first introduced in the video game series in 2001’s Sonic Adventure 2, where he is a playable character working alongside the villainous Doctor Eggman, though he eventually sees the errors of his ways and seeks to make the world a better place, just as he was asked by his best friend Maria Robotnik, Doctor Eggman’s cousin, whose death Shadow witnessed and which initially led him on a path of revenge. Shadow is now recognized as the franchise’s quintessential antihero, whose goals align with Sonic, but his methods often put them at odds.

While Shadow’s only solo adventure, 2005’s Shadow the Hedgehog, was not a good game, the character had no less capture endeared fans of the fans with his dark, brooding disposition that contrasts with the franchise’s more colourful, happy-go-lucky tone, even making Knuckles look like a ray of sunshine by comparison. 

As such, Reeves is the perfect actor to portray the character. I can already hear his John Wick-esque tone coming from the mouth of Shadow and given that he is more action-oriented than his other anthropomorphic counterparts, not to mention his affinity for guns, one may begin to wonder how anyone but Reeves could truly capture the nature of the character. It’s no wonder that this franchise is considered one of the better video game adaptations out there, and simply another example of the spot-on casting from those behind the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, namely the franchise’s architect, Jeff Fowler.

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