Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog has proven to be a massive hit with audiences. There are a number of potential reasons for this, but the plethora of references and nods to the character's video game origins have likely played some role in the movie's success. At the very least, it has helped endear the film to those who grew up on the classic Sega Genesis games. ComicBook.com had an opportunity to ask the film's director, Jeff Fowler, about one of those specific references, so fans that have yet to see the movie might want to turn back now, as major spoilers await!
In the movie's opening, a young Sonic finds himself pursued by a group featuring Knuckles' trademark dreadlocks and spiked hands. These particular characters appear to be after Sonic's powers, and their pursuit of Sonic is what leads the character to leave his home in search of somewhere safe. Despite some notable physical similarities, the bad guys are masked in the scene, leaving it previously up for debate about whether or not these characters were intended to have some relation to Knuckles.
"Yeah, well they're definitely echidnas," said Fowler. "We just felt like that would be a good... we needed basically some bad guys that weren't going to have a big role in the movie, but we wanted it to feel like canon, like a canon element that would make sense to be coming after Sonic and on his home islands. So yeah, they were a good candidate, and we had a lot of fun with just turning them into a little kind of warrior tribe and having them come after our little Sonic."
Of course, those who saw the movie know that another classic Sonic character also made a surprise appearance in the film. Sonic's longtime sidekick, Miles "Tails" Prower, also appeared, via post-credit scene. For Sonic fans, Fowler's comments could very well mean that the movie's inevitable sequel could feature both Tails and Knuckles alongside Sonic. Given the fact that Knuckles served in a bit of an antagonistic role when he first appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 3, the echidna tribe's role in the first film could potentially set-up a lot of drama in the next film!