Sonic the Hedgehog: Everything We Know About The Sonic Movie
Sonic the Hedgehog is such an iconic character that it's surprising it's taken until 2020 for a Sonic movie to be made. The blue-furred turbo-charged Hedgehog first appeared in Sega's classic platform game in 1991 and has since been featured in a wide variety of games for different platforms, as well as cartoons, comic books, and, erm, curry. And finally, in a few months time, he will make his big screen debut.
The ball started rolling on the Sonic movie in 2013, when Sony Pictures acquired the film rights to the franchise from Sega. Development started the following year, but the project stalled when Sony put it in turnaround, meaning it stopped working on the project and instead looked to sell it on to a different studio. Luckily, Paramount picked it up, and production finally began in August 2018.
The movie is a live-action film, that features a CGI Sonic alongside a human cast. Of course, the history of popular video games being turned into a movies is not a wildly successful one. From Super Mario Brothers and Street Fighter to Hitman and Assassin's Creed, what makes a game so popular rarely translates into a great cinema. And let's face it, Sonic the Hedgehog has already had a few well-publicised bumps along the way, and the movie is still three months from release.
Nevertheless, hopes are reasonably high for Sonic's first cinematic outing. In terms of audience awareness, there are few pop-culture characters more famous around the world, and while the games themselves don't necessarily lend themselves to a strong storyline, we're hopeful that some of that sense of addictive fun makes it to the screen. We'll find out soon enough--in the meantime, here's everything we to date about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.
What's the release date?
Sonic the Hedgehog hits theaters on February 14, 2020, having been pushed back from its original date of November 8, 2019.
Why was there a delay?
Sonic's appearance in the movie has been one of the most controversial things in cinema this year. When the first images of the movie version of the famous Hedgehog appeared on posters, fans were surprised--and frankly, a bit disturbed--by what seemed to be some weirdly humanoid aspects to his body. April's first trailer confirmed that the filmmakers had indeed attempted to make Sonic seem a bit more "realistic," by downplaying the more cartoonish aspects of his traditional appearance. In short, the fans hated it, and within a day, director Jeff Fowler had announced that his team would be completely reworking how Sonic looked. The movie's release date was pushed back two months, and finally in mid-November, the all-new Sonic was revealed in the second trailer. Unsurprisingly, the filmmakers have gone back to the classic look, resulting in a very cartoonish and more recognizable hedgehog that seems to have made everyone a lot happier.
Who's playing Sonic?
The voice of Sonic is performed by Ben Schwartz. Schwartz is best known for playing Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on Parks and Recreation, a role that was specifically written for him by creator Michael Schur. He also voiced Rutabaga Rabitowitz in eight episodes of BoJack Horseman and appeared in the movies Night School and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
Who's in the rest of the cast?
The cast of Sonic the Hedgehog features some well known stars. The biggest name is Jim Carrey, who plays the evil Dr Robotnik. Also known as Doctor Eggman in the video games, he's a mad scientist who is plotting world domination. The live-action lead is played by Westworld star James Marsden, who will appear as Tom Wachowski, a small town sheriff who ends up befriending Sonic. There are also roles for Tika Sumpter (Ride Along) as Tom's wife Annie and Adam Pally (Happy Endings) as Billy, another cop and Tom's friend.
Who's the director?
Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler. Although it's Fowler's directorial debut, he previously helmed the Oscar-winning animated short Gopher Broke, as well as working on the visual effects for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are.
What's the story?
The trailers suggest that the movie starts Sonic's arrival on earth, which causes a massive power outage. This catches the attention of the US government, who employ the evil scientist Doctor Robotnik to hunt the blue hedgehog down. Officer Tom Wachowski finds Sonic in the small town of Green Hills and sets about trying to help him avoid capture and collect the franchise's iconic rings. As for other characters from the games, there's no word if the likes of Tails and Knuckles will appear. However, producer Neil Moritz has stated that there will be Easter Eggs and "very exciting things that fans of Sonic will get to see," so you never know.