Getting one of SEGA’s most popular characters, Sonic the Hedgehog, to the big screen has been an interesting journey. The Sonic the Hedgehog movie was greenlit back in 2014 but didn’t officially begin production until 2016. That delayed production start date, as well as the pushed back release date (it was originally scheduled for 2018), are only two of the many things that tell us this movie is going to be an interesting one.
Adding to the curious nature of Sonic the Hedgehog is the fact that director Jeff Fowler and his creative team chose to go live-action for this adventure, bringing the speed-demon, ring-gathering video game hero into the human world and giving him a more realistic look. These things can be notoriously hit-or-miss, and getting the wrong look for Sonic has been a fear among fans for some time (the trailer didn’t help).
But even with all this pressure to successfully transpose Sonic’s SEGA journey to a feature-length film, there have also been exciting developments, especially in the casting department. So, what exactly can we expect from Sonic the Hedgehog? Keep reading to find out.
When Is the Sonic the Hedgehog Release Date?
Sonic the Hedgehog is scheduled for release on November 8, 2019.
Is There a Trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog?
The first trailer exists and we’ve dropped it at the top of this page so you can get a good look at what to expect from this movie. Viewers can expect the film to blend hyperreal animation with live-action performances (making it very similar to Detective Pikachu in that way) with a fairly kid-friendly story.
Also, expect lots of tongue-in-cheek humor courtesy of Jim Carrey, who appears to have been allowed to improvise every once in a while and really have fun with his character.
Who Is in Sonic the Hedgehog’s Cast?
Sonic the Hedgehog has assembled a pretty wild cast. Parks and Recreation alum Ben Schwartz is the voice of Sonic. James Marsden will play Tom Wachowski, a local police officer who learns of Sonic’s existence and is roped into his shenanigans with Dr. Robotnik. Speaking of Robotnik, Carrey will be playing the main Sonic villain, big mustache and all.
Additional cast members include Happy Ending’s Adam Pally, Ride Along’s Tika Sumpter, Captain America: The First Avenger alum and frequent “Hey, I know that guy!” actor Neal McDonough, and Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell.
There’s still no word on who’s been cast as the character that kisses Sonic.
What Is the Plot of Sonic the Hedgehog?
As seen in the trailer, Tom Wachowski (Marsden) discovers the existence of Sonic (Schwartz), an extremely fast, electrified, and very tricky hedgehog. Sonic accidentally raises suspicion when he runs so fast he manages to knock out all of the power in the Pacific Northwest, leading the government to go to any lengths to capture and study him.
Enter Dr. Robotnik (Carrey), Sonic’s longtime nemesis who wants to capture Sonic to conduct experiments as well as harness his power. It’s Tom’s duty to keep Sonic protected from Robotnik and it’s Sonic’s job to defend Tom — as well as the rest of the world — since nobody is as well matched to defeat Robotnik as Sonic.
The first trailer hints at the possibility that there will be jumps between Sonic worlds, which could explain why the look of Robotnik and Sonic is so different when they’re seen in our world. This jump between worlds is teased at the end of the trailer as the screen crackles before revealing Carrey as Robotnik sporting red goggles, an even wilder mustache, no hair, and a red jumpsuit while surrounded by giant mushrooms.
The surreal look of Robotnik in this sneak peek is closer to the video games, which should give fans some hope that not too much about the world of Sonic is being changed for this film. This world-jumping theory is strengthened by the fact that Sonic is seen in the trailer creating portals with his rings, which might explain how he lands on Earth and escapes Robotnik in that other land.
Who Directed Sonic the Hedgehog?
Jeff Fowler directed Sonic the Hedgehog. According to his IMDb, Fowler’s past credits include writing, animating and/or directing a few shorts, Rockfish, A Gentleman’s Duel and Gopher Broke, and appearing in one episode of Gilmore Girls back in 2002. This will be Fowler’s first time directing a feature-length film.
Will There Be a Sonic the Hedgehog 2?
Unclear at this point, but it certainly has the potential for spinoffs. Given the number of times Sonic has been resurrected in video games and his story transposed to different worlds, we won’t rule out the possibility of Paramount Pictures doing something similar for a sequel or two should this first installment do well commercially and/or critically.
I Heard About a Redesign…
Yeah, so… about that.
Following the release of the first trailer for Sonic, there was a big uproar from the internet about the look of Sonic, with particular concern over the fact Sonic has human teeth coming through the strongest. Additionally, fans on Twitter argued that the look of Sonic felt too dissimilar from the comics and video games and that his almost human-like transformation was just too jarring.
Of course, plenty of memes popped up about the look of Sonic and none of them were positive.
All of the hullabaloo led director Jim Fowler to tweet on May 2: “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…”
The premiere date for Sonic is only six months away and since Sonic is literally the main character, locking in on an approved redesign and fully integrating the new Sonic into the film’s final cut is going to be a huge endeavor. Fowler and Co. have their work cut out for them if they’re going to honor the fans’ wishes and change Sonic’s look.
Have There Been Any Other Controversies?
Concerns about the look of Sonic have been simmering since December 2018, when the first poster for Sonic the Hedgehog was unveiled. While Sonic was only visible in silhouette, fans began to fret the look of the video game character IRL would be off or it was a harbinger of bland things to come because it seems to lack the energy of, say, an extremely fast, electrified mammal.
Others worried that Sonic might be too hot for his own good, begging the question: how did we arrive at this look for Sonic in the first place?
Sonic the Hedgehog will be released on November 8, 2019.