Why Jim Carrey Did Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Despite Usually Shying Away From Sequels

Before it even set foot into theaters, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a film that made history in a very unique way. The sequel to 2020’s surprise box office hit became only the third sequel that actor Jim Carrey has participated in, specifically when it comes to franchises he helped originate. Clearly there was something special about Paramount’s adaptation of the bestselling Sega video game, and for Carrey, his return to the world of Sonic was all about joy and "innocence."

That’s not being flowery with language either, as I got to speak with Jim Carrey during the press day for Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which will hit the 2022 movie release schedule this weekend. As one of the many kids who grew up hoping that someday there’d be The Mask 2, to have the chance to ask why this sequel was so special was too good to pass up. In fact, Carrey told CinemaBlend that in his mind, Sonic 2 represented the following opportunity: 

I think it’s a lovely kind of reminder of innocence, and there was something sweet about this movie. The first time around there were people that looked at [Sonic] and went ‘I don’t know. It’s a kids movie, do you really want to do a kids movie?’ And I went, ‘Well, yeah,’ because kids appreciate movies like nobody else. But, first of all, there was something sweet at the heart of it.

In the past, Jim Carrey has gone on record about sequels, saying that sequels were “a function of commerce, for the most part.” Out of his entire filmography of memorable roles, Jim Carrey has only previously returned to two of those iconic characters he made famous. 1995’s Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To hold those historic places on the Canadian-American actor’s resume, with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 making for the third sequel he's agreed to.

That makes Jim Carrey’s reteaming with director Jeff Fowler even more impressive, as the gap between those other sequels spanned 19 years; as opposed to the two-year gap in the Sonic franchise. Another interesting coincidence comes from the fact that Carrey praised the “innocence” of Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Representing the polar opposite of that very virtue, our latest encounter with Dr. Ivo Robotnik sees Sonic’s bitter nemesis even saltier this time around. 

Banished to the mushroom planet in the ending to 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog, this mad scientist has been talking to a stone replica of his associate Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub) and trying to make the most drinkable mushroom drink possible. Don’t worry if your memory is a bit fuzzy on the previous installment, as Paramount+ subscribers can refresh themselves by streaming Sonic the Hedgehog on that platform.

Playing the embodiment of comedic evil further helped Sonic the Hedgehog 2 separate itself from the standard sequel. In Jim Carrey’s viewpoint, playing a baddie is just as important as having a hero as cool as Ben Schwartz’s Sonic in the mix. Here’s how Carrey sees Dr. Robotnik's role in Sonic 2, and why he feels it only enhances the film’s innocence: 

I play the contrast to this incredible innocence. I play the Evil 3.0 quantum version of Robotnik in this, and there’s no limits to my powers. I’m a demigod of evil, and it’s all in service of showing you, again, what matters. Which is that at some point in our lives, we were these innocent, non-skeptical beings that enjoyed everything that popped up in the zeitgeist. It was innocent and beautiful, and you didn’t care what the bubble gum was gonna do to ya. You just chewed it up, and blew a bubble, man. You didn’t look at the ingredients.

The mindful nature of Jim Carrey’s current era career was ever present when getting to speak with him. Without any spoilers, it’s pretty safe to assume that the currently in development Sonic the Hedgehog 3 will have a spot for Dr. Robotnik to return. Unfortunately, Carrey’s announcement of his potential retirement leaves that prospect in question, which means that the bubble gum will have to be even sweeter if we want to see more of his villainy. 

Should Jim Carrey's Robotnik not be present for another round of adventure and mischief, the actor’s imprint on the Sonic movie franchise will always be a memorable experience that gives fans their fill of his classic comedic spark. If there is a need to recast the role, let's simply hope the franchise goes in another direction with its villians. The Sonic world has plenty to choose from, after all. 

Let’s not think too far into the future, as we have Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to enjoy in the present. The film opens in theaters this weekend, and is already playing in several territories internationally, so it won’t be too long before you can dash to your local multiplex and enjoy some of that cinematic bubble gum. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.