Roger Craig Smith, the voice actor behind Sonic the Hedgehog for over a decade, has revealed on social media that he is no longer going to be occupying the role going forward.
Smith posted on Twitter that he is “onward to new zones” after voicing the blue hedgehog since 2010’s Sonic Free Riders and Sonic Colors.
Welp, 10 years was an amazing run.
Onward to new zones!
Much love to the fans who've been so kind.????
It's been an honor.
— Roger Craing Smith (@RogerCraigSmith) January 28, 2021
Between video games, television, and films, Smith had quite a few credits playing Sonic. Including mainline games like Sonic Colors, Sonic Generations, and Sonic Forces. He also played him in the Sonic Boom television series, which ran from 2014 to 2017 on Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the United States. Smith didn’t get to voice the hedgehog in the live action adaptation that came out last year, as Sonic was voiced by Ben Schwartz, but he did get to voice the blue blur on the big screen in Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and its sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet.
Outside of playing Sonic, Smith is known for his voice over work playing characters like Ezio in the Assassin’s Creed series, Chris Redfield in Resident Evil, and Captain America in most animated Marvel shows.
Sonic has had several voice actors over the years, but Smith held the record for the longest run with ten years. Jason Griffith, who played the character for seven years before the role was recast by Smith, holds the second place spot.
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If Smith is being recast, it makes me wonder if there will be a whole slew of new casting across the board for the Sonic franchise, which has happened more than once in the series’ lifetime. Personally, I’d be interested in hearing a new voice behind some characters. Specifically Shadow the Hedgehog, as I’ve never been able to jive with the current, overly sinister take on the character.
It just so happens that 2021 is the 30th anniversary of the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. So it’s likely we’ll find out who is replacing Smith fairly soon, as Sega has already said a new Sonic game is in the works for the anniversary. Fans are already speculating Schwartz might take over to keep the whole franchise consistent with the movie, but I would be surprised if a Hollywood actor would be down to voice video games and animated shows. What seems more likely is that the next actor could be a soundalike for Schwartz, but we’ll have to wait and see.