The first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog prompted strong reactions last week, with jokes being made about Sonic’s legs, Sonic’s nightmarishly-human teeth, the soundtrack, and more. Director Jeff Fowler surprised everyone by responding to complaints with a promise to change the character’s appearance before the movie’s release. “The message is loud and clear. You aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be…#sonicmovie #gottafixfast.” the director tweeted last Thursday.
But it isn’t just the Sonic the Hedgehog director who’s taking note of audience feedback. The co-creator of the Sonic character (Naka Yuji) and the director of photography for Detective Pikachu (John Mathieson) also weighed in. Yuji publicly thanked director Jeff Fowler for promising to improve Sonic’s design:
Meanwhile, two-time Oscar nominee John Mathieson just seemed happy he turned down the cinematography job for Sonic the Hedgehog to work on Detective Pikachu instead. “Funny enough, I was offered [Sonic the Hedgehog] and after watching the trailer, I thought, I’m so glad we don’t look like that,” he told Newsweek. He went on to explain how filming Detective Pikachu on traditional film set it apart from the digitally-shot Sonic movie:
“If all we’re talking about is how these two films look, our film is better than Sonic the Hedgehog and I’m sorry, I don’t care who I upset by saying that, but I think it looks better. There’s no reason why you can’t shoot a film like [Detective Pikachu] or Sonic the Hedgehog on film. If you had, [Sonic the Hedgehog] would look more realistic. I look at Sonic the Hedgehog and I just go ‘yeah whatever.'”
He went on to explain how shades of blue and red aren’t captured as well when shot digitally, and he finds digital cameras lacking. “I find it very difficult to use, especially these huge Marvel superhero films because [director of photographers] all look the same. It all goes in the computer and gets washed up. You don’t see the individuality of the photographer, and that’s a shame,” he said, adding that there are some digitally-shot movies that are done right, like Roger Deakins’ work on Blade Runner 2049.
In other news, if Paramount needs any pointers on improving Sonic’s design, plenty of people have offered suggestions: