The internet freaked out about fur-covered Pokémon in the live-action trailer for Detective Pikachu last month, but we still weren’t ready for a furry Sonic the Hedgehog. A new animated poster for the upcoming movie (starring Ben Schwartz as Sonic and Jim Carry as Dr. Robotnik) hit the web on Monday morning, and Sonic has never looked quite like this.
The new teaser shows a blue streak tearing across the screen before Sonic materializes front and center. He’s covered in shadows, but you can make out his iconic hair (which actually looks like hair now) and those bright red sneakers. He’s also glistening with an electrical charge similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger when he first transports to the past in Terminator.
It’s not exactly the Sonic we all know and love, but if the blue hedgehog somehow did exist in the real world, he’d probably look like this. At least, that’s what the movie’s executive producer Tim Miller, told IGN. According to Miller, who also directed Deadpool, giving Sonic fur was actually the least weird option on the table.
“It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing,” he said. “It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”
Miller also revealed another huge change to Sonic’s character design that we don’t actually see in the trailer: his eyes. The issue? In most Sonic games, the 2D design means you only see one of Sonic’s eyes. The movie apparently finds a solution, but not one that the Sonic-creators at Sega were particularly happy with.
“I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it,” Miller said
He added that while they could have gone with a “Pixar character” design, that wouldn’t have fit in with the real-world aesthetic of the film. As we see more and more animation-inspired films that blend live-action and CGI (from Detective Pikachu to Disney’s string of remakes), this is sure to become a recurring issue. How do you keep an iconic character recognizable while also making them fit into the real world.
In the meantime, this new design has earned at least one key endorsement. Roger Craig Smith (the voice of Sonic in cartoons, movies, and video games for the past decade) retweeted the new poster, essentially passing the torch to his successor Ben Schwartz.
Sonic the Hedgehog races into theaters on November 8, 2019.
Related video: See Pokémon with fur in the ‘Detective Pikachu’ trailer.