The first Sonic the Hedgehog game came out in 1991 and he quickly became one of the most popular and recognizable video game icons of all-time, but unlike his Nintendo counterpart Mario, there has never been a Sonic movie.
There was supposed to be one in the mid-1990s, but the project was canceled (considering the treatment begins with, “A 12-year old boy named Josh Pinski [reads] out his school paper on a test pilot named Sonic who was killed in a plane explosion while attempting to break speed barriers,” maybe that was for the best). In 2014, Sony Pictures announced a live-action/CGI hybrid based on the blazing-fast Sega character, and this time, it’s actually happening, with Ben Schwartz, a.k.a. Benny Schwaz, as the titular Hedgehog (those are two words that look weird back to back) and Jim Carrey as the evil Dr. Robotnik.
Now we have our first look at the Sonic movie, and folks, let me tell you: this Sonic f*cks (something that anyone familiar with DeviantArt knows all too well).
“That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like,” executive producer Tim Miller told IGN about giving Sonic fur. “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.” Sonic and Detective Pikachu would get along.
The hardest part about the transition from video game-to-movie: Sonic’s eye(s). He’s usually depicted as only having one, but in the movie, he was given two. “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,” Miller noted. “He’s not going to feel like a Pixar character would because I don’t think that’s the right aesthetic to make it feel like part of our world.” A lot of discussion was also spent on his speed.
“The first thing you need to do is put limits on it. If you can do anything, nothing is special. For me, it’s always about keeping it grounded and keeping it realistic,” said Miller. “We had some time to figure out the speed: What it looks like, what it feels like for a character to do that and how it relates to our world. It took a little trial and error, but that’s animation in figuring out what the effect looks like and what it does to the rest of the world around it. The speed changes over time because he evolves, because he can’t do everything at the beginning of the movie. It’s finding the visual language and figuring out how it’s going to evolve over time.” (Via)
There’s already a lot of discussion about the character design.
Sonic the Hedgehog opens on September 8, 2019.