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SYFY WIRE Sonic the Hedgehog

WIRE Buzz: Jim Carrey's Dr. Robotnik debuts in Sonic the Hedgehog, Will Smith is de-aged in Gemini Man

By Jacob Oller
Jim Carrey getty

More news out of CinemaCon in this WIRE Buzz, with blue blurs and Looper-esque doubles representing the next big things in genre movies. First up, let’s talk about that hedgehog that’s just gotta go fast.

Fans may have mixed opinions on the first images of Sonic the Hedgehog’s strangely realistic adaptation, but now they have a different reason to look forward to the upcoming video-game-based movie. The first footage of the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film has been revealed and the biggest star wasn’t even the speedy Sega icon. Instead, it was his nemesis who stole the show, as Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik made his debut at this year’s CinemaCon.

According to Deadline, the Paramount presentation about the film featured Sonic’s voice actor, Ben Schwartz, as well as Carrey in person, as the latter and Paramount distribution boss Kyle Davies introduced two trailers of the adaptation — which will apparently involve Sonic attempting to save the world from some giant robots.

While the first was focused on Sonic himself, as the character zipped around the desert before being tranquilized by James Marsden, the second prioritized villainy. Carrey, fully embracing his character, called the movie basically his origin story and said that the movie is nothing without him. He also suggested a few new titles: Robotnik Conquers the World or Eggman: Hard Boiled.

The mustachioed villain supposedly gets into a tiff with the army and Marsden’s policeman in the second trailer, which lets Carrey flex his penchant for going big and bold with his acting choices. “I was spitting out formulas when you were spitting up formulas,” Robotnik tells the cop. “I was breastfed,” comes the reply. Jokes and cartoonish villains, as well as plenty of big-name musical needledrops, are already in full gear — and the general public still hasn’t even seen Sonic’s too-human legs in action yet!

Do you think Carrey’s villain will help bridge the uncanny valley Sonic’s live-action model already inhabits? Sonic the Hedgehog is zooming towards a Nov. 8 release, with plenty of time to win fans over.

Next, director Ang Lee’s Gemini Man showed off its first footage. The film, which stars Will Smith, is about an assassin pursued by his younger self. If you thought Samuel L. Jackson was de-aged well in Captain Marvel, wait until a 20-something Will Smith has to fight a 50-year-old Smith in the same scene.

According to Deadline, the long-gestating sci-fi film (which also stars Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Benedict Wong) was introduced by Lee and showed off clips that saw the two Smiths interact — both armed, of course.

“They made you, from me,” one Smith reportedly said to the other. “They chose you because there’s no one like you or me.” Smith, who made a video appearance, explained that the film is about what you can learn from your younger self and that the role only worked for him because he had the benefits of age on his side. As for the young version, well that piece of performance-captured CG — which itself is pushing technology forward — comes from Peter Jackson's company, Weta Digital.

The Smiths face off when Gemini Man hits theaters on Oct. 11.