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For other uses of the term "Sonic the Hedgehog" see Sonic the Hedgehog (disambiguation).

Quotation1 When the world needs a hero...think fast. Quotation2
— Tagline

Sonic the Hedgehog[2] is an upcoming adventure comedy film adaptation based on Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchise. The film is directed by Jeff Fowler in his directorial debut and written by Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, and Oren Uziel,[3] from a story by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser.[4] The film will feature Ben Schwartz as the film's titular hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, alongside James Marsden and Tika Sumpter. The film features a small-town sheriff assisting Sonic as he attempts to escape the government.

The film, which is expected to be a CGI/live action hybrid film, is an American–Japanese joint venture between several parties. It is being co-produced and financed by Paramount Pictures, with Neal Moritz serving as producer as well through his Original Film banner. Tim Miller also serves as executive producer under his animation company Blur Studio, and Sega's Marza Animation Planet unit assists with the animation. It is the first entry in a planned film series.[5] and is currently set for a release on 14 February 2020 by Paramount Pictures.[1]

Initially, Sony Pictures acquired the film rights to Sonic the Hedgehog from Sega in 2013, and officially gave the green-light at a private joint Sega/Sony Pictures press conference announcing the film on 10 June 2014.[4] Fowler was hired to direct in 2016. In October 2017, due to financing issues, Sony sold the film rights to Paramount, who retained the film's production staff.[6] Most of the cast had signed on for the project by August in 2018. Filming took place between July and October in 2018 in Vancouver, Ladysmith and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.

Sonic the Hedgehog was initially set to be released in November 2019. Due to the negative reception from fans that saw the first trailer however, which was released in February 2019, Sonic the Hedgehog was delayed to February 14, 2020 so that Paramount could redesign Sonic.[7][1]

Plot

Tom Wachowski, the officer-turned-newly appointed sheriff of small town Green Hills, Montana, goes on a journey from Green Hills to San Francisco in his efforts to assist Sonic, an anthropomorphic delinquent hedgehog who can run at incredible speeds, in evading capture by the government, recovering his rings, and defeating the insane Dr.Robotnik.[8][9]

Cast

Live-action cast

Voice cast

Unknown roles

Production

Development

Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the rights to distribute a film based on Sonic the Hedgehog in 2013.[26] On 3 December 2013, Sony Pictures Digital Domain Names, Inc., a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, filed a notice of registration for three inactive websites addressed as "SonicTheHedgehog-Movie.com", "SonicTheHedgehog-Movie.net" and "SonicTheHedgehogMovie.net". The registrations were reported by The Sonic Stadium on 7 December, but neither Sony Pictures nor Sega confirmed the existence of a proposed film project at the time.[27]

On 20 March 2014, a film adaptation was first hinted when The Tracking Board released a rumor about the film, stating that it would receive a "Dark Knight treatment" and posted a writer shortlist of proposed writers involved.[28] On 10 June 2014, the official Sonic website was updated, with a locked section listing "TV and Movies."[29] Later that same day, at a private Sega/Sony Pictures press conference, The Hollywood Reporter reported the confirmation of a live-action animated film based on Sonic the Hedgehog, which would be a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Marza Animation Planet, and that Sony had green-lit the project.[4][30] It would be produced by Neal H. Moritz by his Original Film banner alongside Takeshi Ito, Mie Onishi and Toru Nakahara, and written by Evan Susser and Van Robichaux.[30]

It was revealed on 21 June 2014 that Sonic the Hedgehog and its eventual successor films will be a separate continuity from the Sonic Boom continuity.[31] On 19 November 2014, Van Robichaux stated that the film production team is "aiming for [a] PG-13 [rating]".[32]

In February of 2016, Hajime Satomi, the CEO of Sega, went on record and stated that Sonic the Hedgehog was scheduled for a 2018 release.[33] On 31 October 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Blur Studio's Tim Miller, who had left directing Deadpool 2 due to creative differences, and Jeff Fowler had been hired in 2016 to develop the film; Fowler would make his directorial debut, and both Miller and Fowler would executive produce. Patrick Casey, Josh Miller and Oren Uziel were writing the screenplay.[34][35]

It was announced on 2 October 2017 that Paramount Pictures had acquired the film rights to Sonic the Hedgehog from Sony, replacing the latter as distributor. Sony had temporally shut down production before the switch after placing it into turnaround.[6] The announcement came after Neal Moritz's Original Film banner signed a first-look production deal with Paramount the prior month, ending their previous deal with Sony, and several months after Sony's film financing partner LStar Capital ended its deal with Sony due to a string of box office failures from the studio.[36][37] Despite the change of studios, the production staff working on the film remained employed and moved to Paramount as well.[6]

On 22 February 2018, an official press release was put out confirming the film's move to Paramount and a release date of November 2019, a date that was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter two days prior.[38][39][40] Sega will have creative input into the project and will co-finance it with Paramount, who will release the film worldwide.[38]

Independent outlet Omega Underground reported on 4 March 2018 that the film's producers were circling Junkie XL to compose the film's musical score, reuniting him with Miller once again after doing the score for Deadpool. The site also reported that Paramount was aiming to begin filming at some point in July, backing up story co-writer Van Robichaux's speculation he tweeted a month prior.[41][42] On 29 May 2018, it was revealed that the film would have a budget of $90 million.[43]

On 12 June 2018, it was later stated that shots of the film would be filmed at Vancouver's Highway 19 during mid-September 2018, and that the movie's current title is "SONIC".[44] At Too Many Games in 2018, Johnny Gioeli stated that “Sega Has Nothing To Do With The Sonic Movie”.[45] Takashi Iizuka soon after corrected though, that he would be supervising the film.[46] Sonic the Hedgehog was originally slated for a 15 November 2018 release, but after Sony Pictures' turnaround, it was changed for a release on 8 November 2019 by Paramount Pictures.[47] In an exclusive IGN interview the first official poster for the film was released on 10 December 2018, revealing its official title as Sonic the Hedgehog.[2] Soon, the movie release date was changed again, this time to 14 February 2020, in order to accommodate for Sonic's redesign.[1]

Casting

On 29 May 2018, it was reported that Paul Rudd was in talks for a lead role as Tom, "a cop who befriends Sonic and will likely team up to defeat Dr. Eggman". Paramount later clarified that this was not the case, but that Rudd had been considered for the role at one point.[43] The following day, it was announced that James Marsden had been cast in an undisclosed role,[48] later revealed to be Tom Wachowski.[11] On 7 June 2018, it was announced that Tika Sumpter was cast to star opposite James Marsden in an undisclosed role,[49] later revealed to be Tom Wachowski's wife,[17] Dr. Annie Wachowski.[18] Jim Carrey was cast to play the villain, Dr. Robotnik.[10] Ben Schwartz later joined the film's cast in August 2018 as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.[21] A few days later, Adam Pally and Neal McDonough were cast.[50] Debs Howard and Elfina Luk already joined the cast.[51]

Filming

On 1 April 2018, it was announced that filming was going to start on 30 July in Vancouver, instead of Atlanta as previously reported.[52]

Principal photography commenced on 24 July 2018 and ended in Vancouver, Ladysmith, and Vancouver Island on 16 October 2018. During filming, the picture was shot under the working title "Casino Night", a reference to the level in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[8][53] A casting call was ordered to run on 18 Aug 2018, 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm PT and 19 Aug 2018, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm PT for residents of Ladysmith, BC. The roles were for the "townsfolk" from the fictional town, Green Hills.[54] Filming ended on 16 October 2018.[55] Despite this, more filming took place in downtown San Fransisco in late October.[56] Post-production of Sonic the Hedgehog and additional photography began and ended in New York in October, where Jim Carrey shot his scenes.[57][8]

Visual effects and design

SonicMovieTrailer31

Following the criticism of Sonic's initial design, director Jeff Fowler stated that Sonic would be redesigned, resulting in the film's release being postponed three months.[58]

The visual effects for Sonic the Hedgehog are provided by Industrial Light & Magic, Blur Studio, Digital Domain and the Moving Picture Company.[59]

Screenwriter Patrick Casey revealed that for the film, Sonic would have a design that was still him and yet a "little more realistic".[60] As promised, the production team created a new, more realistic version of Sonic, adding fur, new sneakers, two separate eyes,[2][61] and a more human-like physique.[62] They used Ted, the living teddy bear from the Ted films, as a reference to insert a CG character into a real-world setting.[2] In an interview with IGN, Tim Miller explained Sonic's redesign:

Quotation1 That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like, it would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature. <...> I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it."[2] Quotation2

Sonic's humanoid appearance has been described as evoking an uncanny valley-type of revulsive response by viewers.[63] However, on 2 May 2019, it was announced by Jeff Fowler on Twitter that Sonic would receive a redesign following the criticism of the first trailer for the film that was released.[64][58] While the film's release date in November 2019 initially stayed unchanged, it caused concerns that a design overhaul of Sonic would cause the visual effects teams to be overworked.[65][66] However, Fowler would announce on Twitter on 24 May 2919 that the film had been moved to 14 February 2020.[1]

Music

On 13 February 2019, Junkie XL confirmed that he would compose the score for Sonic the Hedgehog.[67] Riff Raff, who has a role in the film, will make an appearance on the soundtrack as well.[68]

Marketing

At the Comic Con Experience in Brazil on 6 December 2018, test footage was screened for the public to see.[69] Later, on 10 December 2018, a teaser poster featuring the redesigned Sonic was released.[2] The design was unfavorably likened to those from the 2019 video game film adaptation, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, which added fur and skin textures to the Pokémon characters.[62] The reveal of Sonic's redesign received mostly negative responses from critics and fans alike.[70][62] Former members of Sonic Team, who created the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, likewise expressed surprise at the design.[71]

Shortly after the first poster for the film was revealed, a second one was leaked online, prompting fans to criticize Sonic's design for its positioning of Sonic's legs and its lack of resemblance to the Sonic games. This would lead to the creation of an internet meme where users recreated the position.[72][73] The official Twitter account for the film soon after posted an image of Sonic behind a sign reading: "Can't a guy work out?"[74] More criticism from fans later emerged when images of Sonic's design leaked in March 2019. "Shocked" by the design, former Sonic Team president and Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka felt the ratio of Sonic's head and abdomen was imbalanced.[75]

The first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog was shown on 4 April 2019 at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.[76] It was subsequently released online on 30 April. What it got was near-unanimous criticism,[77][78][79] with Gita Jackson of Kotaku describing it as "horrific" and "a blight upon this weary earth".[77] Sonic's design was likewise criticized, his humanoid appearance in particular,[77][79] and some writers found the use of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" inappropriate.[80][81] Conversely, CNET's Sean Keane praised the humor and references to past Sonic games.[82] Two days after its release, the trailer had been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube.[83]

Release

SonicFilm 2020DelayArt

The accompanying artwork for the 2020 reschedule.

Originally, Sonic the Hedgehog was scheduled for a 2018 release by Columbia Pictures.[33] However, after the turnaround, Paramount Pictures rescheduled it to 15 November, 2019.[39] Eventually though, it was changed again for release in the United States on 8 November, 2019.[47] Later, in May 2019, director Jeff Fowler announced that the film would be delaye (again) to 14 February 2020, in order to "make Sonic just right" following the claims to make changes to Sonic's design in the film.<[1][84]

Trivia

  • Yuji Naka was originally supposed to appear in the film as an extra but was forgotten during production.[85]
  • In the first official trailer for the film, the line "Every Hero has a Genesis" is a nod to the Sega Genesis, the debut console for the original Sonic the Hedgehog video game.

Video

Sonic The Hedgehog (2019) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

Sonic The Hedgehog (2019) - Official Trailer - Paramount Pictures

Sonic La Película - Teaser Tráiler Oficial Doblado - Paramount Pictures México

Sonic La Película - Teaser Tráiler Oficial Doblado - Paramount Pictures México


References

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External links

Sonic the Hedgehog in other media
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