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Sonic the Hedgehog Olive Garden Jokes Weren’t Product Placement

A running gag throughout both the 2020 film Sonic the Hedgehog and 2022’s sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, has been the iconic video game character’s love of the restaurant Olive Garden.

RELATED: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Review: A Superior Sequel

In a recent interview with Fandom, writer Pat Casey acknowledged the many Olive Garden gags in the first film, but said that it actually wasn’t a matter of legitimate product sponsorship. Instead, the team behind the film just thought it would be funny, and it continued to grow.

“A lot of that was not product placement,” Casey said with a laugh. “The Olive Garden thing…Olive Garden didn’t pay us for that, it was just a joke. It was just a little thing, and then it seemed to keep growing on set when I wasn’t there, they kept throwing in more Olive Garden references, I don’t know. The joke was originally just that the General gives them a crappy gift card at the end, and then it became a whole thing. It worked its way back into earlier in the movie.”

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 once again features the voice of Parks and Recreation vet Ben Schwartz as the titular speedster. Joining him are returning cast members James Marsden (Westworld), Tika Sumpter (Ride Along), Natasha Rothwell (Wonder Woman 1984), Adam Pally (The Mindy Project), and Jim Carrey (Kidding).

“After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero,” reads the official synopsis. “His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands.”

Additional cast for the sequel includes franchise newcomers Shemar Moore, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, and Idris Elba, with the latter two set to respectively voiced the roles of Tails and Knuckles.

RELATED: Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Featurette Spotlights Idris Elba’s Knuckles

The sequel was directed by Jeff Fowler from a screenplay written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. Neal H. Mortiz, Toby Ascher, and Toru Nakahara all returned to produce while Hajime Satomi, Haruki Satomi, and Tim Miller executive produce.



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