Six months ago, Paramount Pictures dropped the first Sonic The Hedgehog trailer, and to say that the design was a complete disaster would be an understatement. People were utterly horrified by the character’s appearance (especially those teeth), which led Paramount to push the movie’s release back to 2020 while Sonic got pulled back into retool mode for an overhaul. Fast forward to November, and Sonic looks fantastic, and the whole drawn-out process made this movie far more interesting than its leading voice actors, Hop veteran James Marsden and a mustached Jim Carrey, could have otherwise managed. Not that they don’t have star power, but controversy sells, and remedied controversy pays off immeasurably.
What was the cost, though, of this crowd-pleasing overhaul? As it turns out, Paramount’s reinvestment cost far less than some folks would believe. On Twitter, a rumored (and extremely viral) price tag of $35 million looked comparatively outrageous, given that it would have taken the movie’s price from $90 to $135 million. However, IndieWire did some legwork and surfaced with a much more reasonable number of around $5 million. Here’s how that shook out, according to IndieWire:
The source says VFX work on the film was far from completed by the time the decision was made to delay the film and redesign Sonic. The only Sonic VFX that were fully completed were reportedly the ones seen in the first trailer, which dropped online April 30. Most of the VFX were not finished, so redesigning Sonic proved not to be as outrageously expensive as it would have been had all of the film’s VFX been done.
Yep, $5 million was a relative bargain for Paramount to pull off what turned into an enormous amount of positive publicity for the film. This movie probably would have flown under the adult radar, in large part, had it trucked out a visually pleasing design from the start, and now, the goodwill just won’t stop. Sonic should do quite well, owing to both nostalgia and how the studio gamely stepped up when the public outcry began. The now-fortunate video-game mascot had better enjoy his future (a February 14 release date) because it’s gonna be great.