Grab your chili dogs and get your golden rings together. Sonic the Hedgehog is coming to the big screen.
Yes, the Blue Blur himself is finally getting his own feature-length movie, but this time around, he's going to paired with live-action actors and given a CG makeover. All we've seen are a few posters, stills, and a trailer so far, but believe us — that was enough. Let's just say the movie's first footage didn't exactly release to cheering crowds.
Weirdly, it featured Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" in what could potentially be one of the most inappropriate uses of the songs ever conceived. And then there was Sonic himself. He's not looking so hot. While fans have been embracing the "realistic Pokémon" seen in Detective Pikachu, Sonic is getting a particularly chilly reception, and for good reason — he looks kind of terrible.
Can't Sonic catch a break? Given Sonic's track record when it comes to his video game adaptations, the entire thing is a bit concerning — it looks like no one has learned a thing from Sonic's many missteps over the years. The hedgehog's cavalcade of games hasn't exactly impressed critics or fans alike over the last few years, except for notable exceptions like Sonic Mania and the more recent Sonic Mania Plus. Hopefully, the movie can herald something of a positive direction for the series. However, with the overwhelming amount of vitriol being spewn at Sonic ever since the movie trailer debuted, the actual story content can deliver.
But from what we've seen so far, it really isn't looking that good for ol' Sonic. The movie uses a hybrid of live-action footage and computer-generated animation, much like the Ryan Reynolds-fronted Detective Pikachu flick. Sega is working in tandem with Paramount Pictures to bring the film to life, and Marza Animation Planet is handling the CGI animation.
Director Jeff Fowler has some decent credits to his name, at least, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short for his film Gopher Broke, and having worked on animation research and development for Spike Jonze's adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. Ever since the explosion of fan backlash, he's actually taken to Twitter, promising to "fix" Sonic's design for the legions of angry Sonic faithful, and just about everyone else on the internet.
"Thank you for the support. And the criticism. 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," wrote Fowler.
As far as star power goes, Ben Schwartz, best known as Jean-Ralphio on Parks and Recreation, is taking on the voice role of Sonic, Jim Carrey seems to be giving it his all as Sonic's arch-nemesis Eggman, and the rest of the human cast includes James Marsden, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Tika Sumpter, and Neal McDonough. It's an intriguing choice to cast Carrey as Eggman, and it seems from the trailer that he's pulling out all the trademark Carrey weirdness we know him for.
But where's it all heading? Weirdly enough, the movie, as we understand it so far, follows a sheriff named Tom Wachowski (Marsden) as he treks to San Francisco along with members of a small town to help Sonic fight against Eggman to collect all of Sonic's "rings." Oh, and the government is chasing Sonic for some reason. It begs the question if the writers have ever played a Sonic game, since recovering rings very quickly in-game is not really an issue for our protagonist, but I digress.
The prognosis isn't great, folks. It's good news that the Sonic movie is happening after so many years, and fans will likely find plenty to love about the release, even if it does end up being disappointing overall. But it could be fantastic if the team really put some work into the lore. Perhaps whatever revisions are going into making Sonic himself look a bit spiffed up will give us a better outlook on the rest of the project. After all, there are still a few months left before it's time to release. We could be looking at a major overhaul soon.
What will happen with our beloved hedgehog? We're going to have to sit patiently and see, of course. We'll be waiting to be blown away when the movie debuts on February 14, 2020 — the fanbase certainly deserves it.