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WIRE Buzz: Live-action Sonic pushed to 2020; Taika Waititi pops Bubbles; more

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May 24, 2019

We've got genre updates you cannot miss. For example, a big-budget studio video game adaptation is being pushed off while its hedgehog undergoes a redesign. Elsewhere, Taika Waititi is parting ways with a stop-motion project about a monkey he'd been hyping up for a while. And lastly, Godzilla and his kaiju pals are shrunken down and packed into your mobile device for entertainment purposes.

The theatrical release of Jeff Fowler's live-action Sonic the Hedgehog film is being pushed off to 2020 while Paramount undertakes the endeavor of redesigning the titular CGI character. Originally supposed to open this November, the video game adaptation will now debut on February 14, 2020, according to a tweet from Fowler this morning.

"Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right," he wrote, adding the hashtag "#novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie."

There was some intense backlash from fans earlier this month over the look of Sonic (voiced by Ben Schwartz) in the first trailer for the movie, which co-stars James Marsden and Jim Carrey; the latter is playing Sonic's iconic baddie, Dr. Eggman. Taking the reactions seriously, Fowler soon announced via Twitter that the character would undergo a visual change for the finished product.

Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Neal McDonough, and Adam Pally are also a part of the cast.


Thor: Ragnarok's Taika Waititi is no longer pursuing a stop-motion film about Michael Jackson's pet chimp, Bubbles, Deadline has confirmed. Not only that, but Netflix, which paid $20 million for it at 2017's Cannes, will no longer be producing the project either; it seems their involvement was dependent on Waititi helming the feature.

This development could have something to do with the recent HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, which chronicles the allegations of pedophilia and sexual misconduct leveled against the late pop star. To be clear, such an explanation is unconfirmed, but Waititi and Netflix may have felt it no longer appropriate to move forward after such a dark chapter in Jackson's life resurfaced into the public eye.

Taika Waititi Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Credit: Santi Visalli/Getty Images / Lars Niki/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly (via Jeff Koons)

Waititi was originally going to co-direct Bubbles with Fantastic Mr. Fox's Mark Gustafson, who left the project to co-direct another stop-motion Netflix project, Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. The script was penned by Isaac Adamson.

"It’s a little bit stuck in the early stages of trying to figure out what it could be and what it would look like,” Waititi told Deadline earlier this month. “It’s a f---ing brilliant script, though. It’s so cool to look at the idea of telling a story like this through the eyes of a chimpanzee. But right now I’m finishing two other features — one which I’m looking to do this year — and finishing Jojo [Rabbit], and there are a couple of TV shows I’m developing. There’s about two or three that I mentioned to the press, and they’re way back on my back burner. I’ve actually had to start pulling out of other things, because I was just becoming too busy. And so even doing something like that delays everything else. Even with an animated movie, it turns out, you have to be pretty present."


With Godzilla: King of the Monsters opening in theaters next Friday (May 31), it's time to get your kaiju groove on with a new monster of a mobile game from NEXON and Neople Studio 42.

In Godzilla Defense Force, players can collect the gargantuan and iconic beasts from Toho's prolific cinematic history and use them to protect cities like Tokyo, London, and Sydney. The game also provides a crash course of Godzilla history, taking users all the way back to when the character first made his world debut in 1954.

Check out the launch trailer below:

Godzilla Defense Force weaves Toho’s  iconic Godzilla series with a fantastic blend of card and defense building mechanics to create unique mobile experience that reflects the heart of the franchise,” said Jaeho Hwang, director of Neople Studio 42.

Godzilla Defense Force is now free to download for Apple and Android devices.


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