Sonic the Hedgehog (film)
Sonic the Hedgehog is an upcoming adventure comedy film based on the Sega video game franchise of the same name. The film is directed by Jeff Fowler (making his directorial debut) and written by Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, and Oren Uziel, from a story by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser. It stars Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic and Jim Carrey as Sonic's nemesis Doctor Robotnik, alongside James Marsden and Tika Sumpter. In the film, a small-town sheriff assists Sonic as he attempts to escape the government.
|Sonic the Hedgehog|
Teaser poster with original release date and character design
|Directed by||Jeff Fowler|
|Music by||Junkie XL|
|Cinematography||Stephen F. Windon|
|Edited by||Stacey Schroeder|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
In 2013, Sony Pictures acquired the film rights to the Sonic franchise, and by 2014 had an adaptation in development. Fowler was hired to direct in 2016. After Sony put the project in turnaround, Paramount Pictures acquired it in 2017, and the majority of the cast had signed on by August 2018. Filming took place between July and October 2018 in Vancouver, Ladysmith and elsewhere on Vancouver Island.
Sonic the Hedgehog was scheduled for release in November 2019. After negative fan reaction to the first trailer, released in April 2019, Paramount delayed the film to February 14, 2020, pledging to redesign Sonic.
Tom Wachowski, a San Francisco Police Department officer-turned-newly appointed Sheriff of Green Hills, Montana, journeys from Green Hills to San Francisco to assist Sonic, an anthropomorphic extraterrestrial blue hedgehog who can run at incredible speeds, in evading capture by the government, collecting his rings, and defeating the insane scientist Doctor Robotnik.
- Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, an anthropomorphic extraterrestrial blue hedgehog who can run at supersonic speeds and is on the run from the government.
- Jim Carrey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik, a scientist and inventor plotting world domination who is also Sonic's archenemy.
- James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, a former SFPD officer-turned-newly appointed sheriff of Green Hills, Montana who befriends Sonic and aids him in his quest to stop Dr. Robotnik.
- Tika Sumpter as Dr. Annie Wachowski.
- Adam Pally as a fellow police officer of Green Hills and a friend of Tom Wachowski.
- Neal McDonough as Major Bennington.
Additionally, Lee Majdoub appears as Stone, an agent who works closely with Dr. Robotnik. Frank C. Turner also appears as Crazy Carl. Natasha Rothwell, Debs Howard, Elfina Luk Riff Raff and Garry Chalk are cast in undisclosed roles.
Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the rights to produce and distribute a film based on Sonic the Hedgehog in 2013. On June 10, 2014, a live-action animated film based on Sonic the Hedgehog was announced as a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Marza Animation Planet. 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. In February 2016, Sega CEO Hajime Satomi stated the film was scheduled for 2018. Blur Studio's Tim Miller and Jeff Fowler were hired in 2016 to develop the film; Fowler would make his feature directorial debut, and both Miller and Fowler would executive produce. Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, and Oren Uziel were writing the screenplay.
On October 2, 2017, Paramount Pictures announced that they had acquired the rights after Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures put the film into turnaround. However, most of the production team remained unchanged. In February 2018, it was announced that the movie would be released in November 2019.
On May 29, 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," but was later denied. A day later, it was announced that James Marsden was cast in an undisclosed role, but later revealed to be Tom Wachowski. In June 2018, Tika Sumpter was cast. Jim Carrey was cast to play the villain, Dr. Robotnik. In August 2018, Ben Schwartz joined the cast of the film voicing the title character. A few days later, Adam Pally and Neal McDonough were cast. Debs Howard and Elfina Luk joined the cast.
Principal photography took place from July 24, 2018 and ended in Vancouver, Ladysmith, and Vancouver Island on October 16, 2018. Post-production and additional photography began and ended in October in New York, where Jim Carrey shot his scenes.
Visual effects and design
The visual effects are provided by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Blur Studio, Digital Domain and the Moving Picture Company (MPC). The production team created a realistic version of Sonic, adding fur, new running shoes, two separate eyes, and a more human-like physique. They used Ted, the living teddy bear from the Ted films, as a reference to insert a CG character into a real-world setting. Executive producer Tim Miller said: "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." According to Miller, Sega was not "entirely happy" with the design of Sonic's eyes. Its humanoid appearance has been described as evoking an uncanny valley-type of revulsive response by viewers.
On May 2, 2019, Fowler announced on Twitter that Sonic would be redesigned in response to the audience backlash. The film's November release date originally remained unchanged, prompting concerns that a design overhaul of the main character would cause the visual effects teams to be overworked, but on May 24, 2019, Fowler announced on Twitter that the film was pushed back to February 14, 2020.
In February 2019, Junkie XL, who previously worked with executive producer Tim Miller on Deadpool, signed on to compose the score. Riff Raff, who has a role in the film, will also appear on the soundtrack.
Test footage was screened at the Comic Con Experience in Brazil on December 6, 2018. A teaser poster was released on December 10, 2018, revealing the redesigned Sonic. The design received a mostly negative response from critics and fans, and was compared unfavorably to another 2019 video game film adaptation, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, which added fur and skin textures to the Pokémon characters. Former members of Sonic Team, who created the original Sonic the Hedgehog games, expressed surprise at the design.
A second poster for the film was leaked online shortly after the release of the first. Fans complained of a lack of resemblance to the games and criticized the positioning of Sonic's legs, spawning an internet meme in which users recreated the position. The official Twitter account for the film posted an image of Sonic behind a sign reading: "Can't a guy work out?" Images of the Sonic design leaked in March 2019 to more fan criticism. Former Sonic Team president and Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka was "shocked" by the design and felt the ratio of Sonic's head and abdomen was imbalanced.
The first trailer premiered on April 4, 2019 at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, and was released online on April 30. It experienced an almost universally negative reception, with Gita Jackson of Kotaku calling it "horrific" and "a blight upon this weary earth". Sonic's design was criticized, particularly for his overly humanoid appearance, while some writers found the use of Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" out of place. Conversely, CNET's Sean Keane praised the humor and references to the games. Within two days of its release, the trailer had been viewed more than 20 million times on YouTube.
Sonic the Hedgehog was initially scheduled for 2018 by Columbia Pictures; however in February 2018, Paramount Pictures rescheduled it to November 15, 2019. The film was later moved up a week earlier to November 8, 2019. Following the announcement of the character's redesign in May 2019, director Jeff Fowler announced that the film would again be delayed, this time to February 14, 2020, in order to "make Sonic just right."
- "DJ2 Entertainment". Retrieved August 27, 2018.
- Raymond, Nicholas (May 29, 2018). "Paul Rudd Eyed For Lead Role In Sonic the Hedgehog Film [Updated]". Screen Rant. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Shaffer, Claire; Shaffer, Claire (May 24, 2019). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Director Announces Film Delay After Teeth Backlash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- Fowler, Jeff (May 24, 2019). "Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right". @fowltown. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
- Gregory, Mike (June 14, 2018). "Paramount budgets $7M for Sonic the Hedgehog movie shoot in 'hero town' Ladysmith". Vancouver Island Free Daily. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- Sneider, Jeff (August 9, 2018). "Exclusive: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Adds MCU Veterans Adam Pally, Neal McDonough". Collider. Retrieved August 10, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 9, 2018). "Jim Gianopulos On Why He Chose Paramount, What Makes A Hit And Sparking To 'Sonic The Hedgehog' – Produced By".
- Gregory, Mike (June 14, 2018). "Paramount budgets $7M for Sonic the Hedgehog movie shoot in 'hero town' Ladysmith". Vancouver Island Free Daily. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- Fleming Jr, Mike (June 29, 2018). "Jim Carrey To Play 'Sonic The Hedgehog' Villain Robotnik". Deadline. Retrieved July 1, 2018.
- Kroll, Justin (May 30, 2018). "James Marsden to Star in 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
- Kroll, Justin (July 7, 2018). "Tika Sumpter Lands Female Lead in 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
- Sneider, Jeff (August 9, 2018). "Exclusive: 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Adds MCU Veterans Adam Pally, Neal McDonough". Collider. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- N'Duka, Amanda (September 19, 2018). "David Zayas Cast in Paramount's 'Body Cam'; 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Adds Lee Majdoub". Deadline. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
- Schaefer, Sandy (September 18, 2018). "Leaked Sonic The Hedgehog (2019) set pics show actor to the left was NOT Jim Carrey". ScreenRant. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 24, 2018). "'Insecure's Natasha Rothwell Joins 'Wonder Woman 1984'". Deadline. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
Upcoming for Rothwell: She booked a role in Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog...
- "2019 #SonicMovie - New Filming Spotted in #SanFrancisco! 2 New Actresses Confirmed! (#SonicNews)". www.youtube.com. YouTube. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Gwyn, Rhys ap (August 9, 2018). "The Sonic the Hedgehog movie finds its voice". Attack of the Fanboy. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Conover, Stuart (August 9, 2018). "Ben Schwartz Has Run Towards The Call For 'Sonic The Hedgehog'". sciencefiction.com. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
- Bui, Hoai-Tran (October 3, 2017). "Live-Action Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Is Speeding into Development". SlashFilm. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Siegel, Tatiana (June 10, 2014). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie in the Works at Sony". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Loughrey, Clarisse (February 11, 2016). "Sonic the Hedgehog movie confirmed for 2018, will be 'a live-action and animation hybrid'". Independent. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- Kit, Borys (October 31, 2016). "'Deadpool' Director Shifts to Sony's 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- Kit, Borys (June 21, 2017). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Races to Paramount (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 2, 2017.
- Frank, Allegra (February 22, 2018). "Sonic the Hedgehog film dated for November 2019 (update)". Polygon. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
- "SEGA of America and Paramount Pictures Finalize Agreement to Co-produce Sonic the Hedgehog Feature Film". Business Wire. February 22, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
- Kroll, Justin (August 9, 2018). "Ben Scwhartz to Voice 'Sonic the Hedgehog' in Upcoming Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Wood, Matt (August 12, 2018). "Two MCU Actors Just Joined The Sonic The Hedgehog Movie". CINEMABLEND.
- Gregory, Mike (June 14, 2018). "Paramount budgets $7M for Sonic the Hedgehog movie shoot in 'hero town' Ladysmith". Vancouver Island Free Daily. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- Grayson, Nathan (May 2, 2019). "Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Design To Be Changed Following Criticism". Kotaku. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Sonic the Hedgehog Official Trailer - Animation Boss". www.animationboss.net. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Schwartz, Terri (December 10, 2018). "Sonic The Hedgehog Movie First Look: Check Out the Exclusive Official Poster". IGN. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Webb, Kevin. "A 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie is on the way, but fans think his new design looks awful". Business Insider. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Stephen Lambrechts (May 1, 2019). "Sonic the Hedgehog trailer worse than being punched by Knuckles the Echidna, Sonic rolls his way into the uncanny valley". Techradar.
- Loveridge, Lynzee. "Sonic Co-Creators Express Gratitude to Fans, But Live-Action Film Team Could Be in Tough Spot". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Donaldson, Kayleigh. "Redoing Sonic The Hedgehog's Design At the Last Minute is a Bad Idea". Screen Rant. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Fowler, Jeff [@fowltown] (May 24, 2019). "Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right. #novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie" (Tweet). Retrieved May 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Pearson, Ben (February 15, 2019). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Score to Be Created By 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Composer Junkie XL". /Film. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
- Jones, Biz (April 30, 2019). "Riff Raff reveals role in new Sonic the Hedgehog movie". SOHH. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Schmidt, JK (December 7, 2018). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Footage Revealed at CCXP". Comic Book. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- Chalk, Andy (December 10, 2018). "The first Sonic the Hedgehog live action movie poster is creepy as hell". PC Gamer. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
- Barder, Ollie (December 13, 2018). "The Original Creators Behind 'Sonic The Hedgehog' React To The New Live-Action Movie Reveal". Forbes. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Kelly, Tiffany (December 13, 2018). "People are making memes out of these 'leaked' 'Sonic the Hedgehog' posters". The Daily Dot. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (December 15, 2018). "That nightmarish Sonic movie poster is real". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
- Auty, Dan (December 19, 2018). "Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Twitter Trolls Fans About Those Legs". GameSpot. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Jackson, Gita (March 5, 2019). "The Internet, And Sonic's Creator, React To Sonic's Movie Design". Kotaku. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- Peters, Megan (April 4, 2019). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Footage Released at CinemaCon". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Jackson, Gita (April 30, 2019). "The Internet Is Having A Hard Time With The Sonic The Hedgehog Trailer". Kotaku. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Molina, Brett (April 30, 2019). "The 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie trailer is here, and fans have some issues with it". USA Today. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Stuart, Keith. "The Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer is a 200mph slap in the face". The Guardian. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Shokeye, Kyle (April 30, 2019). "Fans Are Wondering Why "Gangsta's Paradise" Was Used in 'Sonic' Movie Trailer". Complex. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Shaffer, Claire (April 30, 2019). "The 'Sonic the Hedgehog' Trailer Is Here". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Keane, Sean (April 30, 2019). "Sonic the Hedgehog trailer reveals blue blur and Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik". CNET. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- Garza, Ryan (May 1, 2019). "Live action Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer releases". KRIS-TV. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- Couch, Aaron (February 21, 2018). "'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Sets 2019 Release Date". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
- D’Alessandro, Anthony (August 29, 2018). "'Top Gun: Maverick' Flies To Summer 2020 With 'A Quiet Place' Sequel & More: Paramount Release Date Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- Auty, Dan (May 24, 2019). "Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Delayed While Sonic Is Redesigned". GameSpot. Retrieved May 24, 2019.