Sonic the Hedgehog is coming back after his facelift and those behind his first foray into film are hoping that the speedster’s new look will be a hit. After the Sega icon’s design shocked fans during the first trailer for the live-action film, the movie was bumped so that the VFX team could reconfigure the off-putting hedgehog (and his human teeth). Now, according to one of the film’s producers, the redesign is completed and looking good.
Speaking to Variety, producer Tim Miller (who helped develop the film and is helming Terminator: Dark Fate after making the hit Deadpool) was candid about Sonic’s initial reception and the thought process behind his redesign. “Look, I was with fans and so was [director] Jeff [Fowler],” Miller said. “When the s*** hit the fan, I went over there and said, 'The most important thing to do, man, is say, ‘I f***ed up.’' After the trailer hit the web, the backlash was nearly instantaneous. Memes quickly emerged lampooning Sonic’s uncanny design while artists capitalized on the unsatisfying rendition by posting “fixed” versions of the character, Photoshopped into key frames:
Fowler reacted quickly, posting the following tweet:
“He’d already sent a tweet out an hour before I got there,” Miller said. “He’s a good man. It was exactly the right way to handle that. The fans have a voice in this too. There’s a right way to listen.” That listening led to the team going back to the drawing board—and now the fruit of that labor is ready to show to the world.
Variety asked if Miller had seen the new design and he replied “in fact I have. And I think the fans will be pleased.” That’s a lot of confidence considering exactly zero fans liked the first pass especially in light of the incredible Pokemon designs. But there’s a lot of potential here. Since Sonic is a piece of animation inside of the mostly live-action world of Jim Carrey’s villainous Doctor Robotnik and Sonic’s law enforcement sidekick (James Marsden), the new design should slide right in, with its new animation still fitting in with Ben Schwartz’s voicework. It's just, you know, a lot of VFX work to actually make it happen. Do you think they've really "fixed" Sonic?
Fans will be able to see for themselves when Sonic the Hedgehog premieres on its new date, Feb. 14, 2020.