A Speedy Guide to Sonic the Hedgehog

May 6th, 2019A Speedy Guide to Sonic the Hedgehog

Put on your red running shoes and get ready to run to the theatre, as classic video game hero Sonic the Hedgehog is coming to the big screen! Sega’s furry blue ring-grabbing mascot first appeared on the Sega Genesis console in 1991 and has been a mainstay in gaming ever since. Now, he faces his most intimidating adversary … Jim Carrey.

The SONIC THE HEDGEHOG movie is an all-new live-action vision of the character. Well, most of the movie is live-action — Sonic himself will be a CG creation. Here’s everything we know about the new SONIC movie. 

When Can We See Sonic Run?

[Credit: Paramount Pictures]

SONIC opens on November 8, 2019. The little blue guy has some serious competition, too. He’s racing to theatres just one week after the new TERMINATOR movie, while November 8 is also the debut date for the third KINGSMAN film and the new Stephen King adaptation, DOCTOR SLEEP. 

You Gotta See the Sonic the Hedgehog Trailer!

Paramount showed off the first SONIC footage at CinemaCon, and the trailer hit the internet on April 30. We were incredibly curious about how the filmmakers would bring the blue racer to life, and this footage certainly answers that question.

Who’s Directing Sonic the Hedgehog?

[Credit: 20th Century Fox]

Jeff Fowler, a lifelong fan of the video game series, is making his feature directorial debut with SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. He worked on animation for the amazing-looking WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and did an animated short, GOPHER BROKE, which scored an Oscar® nomination back in 2015. 

Fowler has worked with Blur Studio for years, and that company’s co-founder, Tim Miller, is a producer on SONIC. You might know Tim Miller’s name because he directed DEADPOOL. In fact, Blur Studio created the DEADPOOL test footage that was eventually leaked, leading to Fox actually making the movie. Blur also did test footage for SONIC, overseen by Fowler.

The SONIC script is credited to Patrick Casey, Josh Miller and Oren Uziel, from a story by Van Robichaux and Evan Susser.

Wasn’t There a Wild Sonic Poster? 

The latest poster is above, but you can see the first official poster below. You might notice Sonic’s muscular legs, which caused a real stir on the internet when this image arrived. That was the first hint at what the character would look like. Such an innocent time.

[Credit: Paramount Pictures]

The filmmakers have said they went for a more realistic version of Sonic. Tim Miller told IGN that Sonic’s fur was “always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like,” going on to say, “It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”

And the look of Sonic’s legs factors into the idea of representing his speed in the movie. “The first thing you need to do is put limits on it. If you can do anything, nothing is special,” Miller said. “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.”

There was so much talk about swole Sonic’s jacked legs that the film’s marketing team responded on Twitter. 

What’s the Story Behind the Sonic Movie?

[Credit: Sega]

As you might expect, the idea of a Sonic the Hedgehog movie goes back many years. Sega first started exploring ideas in the early ‘90s, at the height of the character’s first wave of popularity. Sonic has starred in a few animated TV series, with two different shows on the air at once in 1993.  

The amazing thing is that the first Sonic movie deal was signed in 1994, after the disastrous opening of SUPER MARIO BROS., which seemed to demonstrate that turning a fan-favorite video game character into a movie star was easier said than done. A movie never happened back in the 1990s, because Sega, MGM and the production company Trilogy Entertainment couldn’t agree on what the movie should be. (Maybe the effect of Nintendo’s Mario bomb was significant after all.)

Fast forward to 2014, when THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS producer Neal Moritz made a deal with Sony to produce a Sonic movie at long last. In 2017, the venture moved over to Paramount Pictures, but pretty much all of the people involved remained the same.

Who Are the Stars of Sonic the Hedgehog?

[Credit: Paramount Pictures]

Ben Schwartz of “Parks and Recreation” voices Sonic — he actually voiced the character for Blur Studio’s first animated tests, and the filmmakers liked his work so much they hired him for the full movie. James Marsden plays Tom Wachowski, the sheriff of a town called Green Hills, who befriends Sonic. (Green Hills is a reference to the first stage in the original Sonic game, Green Hill Zone.) Adam Pally plays another cop in Green Hills. 

Most importantly, Jim Carrey (seen above in costume for the film) plays Dr. Ivo Robotnik, the insane scientist who has been Sonic’s nemesis throughout his adventures. Carrey will probably be a big part of the movie. At CinemaCon, Paramount had the actor himself show up to promote a very different SONIC trailer labeled as “Robotnik” — which is probably not ever going to be a real thing, but was very funny regardless.

Tika Sumpter is also in the cast of the SONIC movie, as are Lee Majdoub, playing one of Robotnik’s associates, and Frank C. Turner, Natasha Rothwell, Neal McDonough, Debs Howard and Elfina Luk. We’ll learn a lot more about the cast and their roles in the coming months.

Come back to the AMC Scene for more high-speed news about SONIC THE HEDGEHOG!

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