This time last year, things did not look good for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The first trailer for Paramount’s adaptation of Sega’s video game franchise had just been released, and the backlash was severe.
It was late April of 2019 – which feels like an aeon ago now – that we got our first proper look at the ‘live-action’ version of the beloved blue hedgehog, and it revealed that certain design decisions had led to him sporting human teeth, for reasons that are still fairly mystifying. To put it bluntly: it did not go down well, and a hasty redesign was soon on the cards.
“Thank you for the support. And the criticism,” said Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler , which must have taken some seriously swallowed pride at the time. “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.”
By November, Sonic was new and improved, and looking much more …well, like you’d expect him to look. The film’s debut, having been pushed back to accommodate the design changes, then made it one of 2020’s first gambles. Little did we know at the time, it would also be one of the year’s last big theatrical releases for a long while.
Luckily, the huge amount of effort that the Sonic the Hedgehog effects team must have put in to pull off the redesign worked in their favor. The movie made over $306 million at the global box office despite mixed reviews, and Paramount and Sega have just confirmed that it will get a sequel (via Variety) with Fowler back to direct and Pat Casey and Josh Miller returning to write the script. On the production side are Neal H. Moritz, Toby Ascher, Toru Nakahara, Hajime Satomi, Haruki Satomi and Tim Miller.
Cast-wise, there’s no confirmation on who will be back for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 at the time of writing, but we’ll keep you posted on that in the future. We’d hope to hear that the voice of Sonic, Ben Schwartz, and BFF Tom (James Marsden) are both onboard, and Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik, too.
For many people Sonic the Hedgehog was a final cinematic journey before the COVID-19 lockdown began, as illustrated by none other than comedy’s uncut gem, Adam Sandler. The actor recalled that the film was his “last night out” and that he’d had such a great time he ended up calling one of its stars right in the middle of the screening.
“I called Carrey from the theater, I was telling him how funny he was while it was going on. I didn’t know it was going to be the last movie I ever saw at a movie theater,” Sandler told Jimmy Kimmel, adding “People were spread out. There were only a few of us in the theaters, and I was laughing very loud. The people behind us were laughing, too. So I think our last big night out [was] Sonic.”
We’ll bring you more info on the Sonic the Hedgehog sequel as we get it.