Neal Moritz, producer of Sonic the Hedgehog, has recalled the process behind the character’s fan-driven redesign for the first movie.
The original design for the title character in 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog still lives on in internet infamy. The film’s production team had been given the difficult task of creating a CGI Sonic, a character who had only existed in video games and animation, that would maintain the character’s essence while not looking out of place in a live-action world. Their first attempt fell a little short, to put it mildly. When the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog landed, fan backlash to the design was so severe that the film was eventually delayed to allow for time to redesign the character.
Sonic’s new design, which went on to appear in the first film and can now be seen again in Sonic the Hedgehog 2, stuck far closer to the character’s original video game look. While it meant making the character look more cartoonish in comparison to his live-action surroundings, the look of Sonic the Hedgehog just proved too iconic and beloved to alter. Now, the films’ producer, Neal Moritz, has recalled the reaction to the film’s first trailer and how it inspired the filmmakers to take the time to redesign Sonic. Appearing on The Town with Matthew Belloni podcast, Moritz said:
“I remember it like it was yesterday… Here’s what we learned: we learned that we had more views and more interest in something than we ever thought could possibly exist. The problem was… all the response was negative about the character. But, we were like, ‘Holy crap, people love and are really… If we can turn this ship around, we already know we got huge interest.’ So, we had an all-hands-on-deck meeting the next morning in one of the board rooms at Paramount… and we said, ‘We are going to take the character back to what that is loved, and we need x-amount of dollars to do this, and we need to delay the movie.’ And I have to say, SEGA and Paramount said, ‘Okay, you’re right…’ And we just decided we were going to make it right… [W]e ultimately did not want to let the fans down, Paramount down, or SEGA down, who had given us their crown jewel to go make a movie of… We put everything into it to make it right, and we listened.”
Fans of the Sega video game franchise were clearly grateful for the dedication to getting Sonic’s look right and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has gone on to receive widespread praise from audiences.
Here is the official synopsis for the film:
The world’s favorite blue hedgehog is back for a next-level adventure in SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. After settling in Green Hills, Sonic is eager to prove he has what it takes to be a true hero. His test comes when Dr. Robotnik returns, this time with a new partner, Knuckles, in search for an emerald that has the power to destroy civilizations. Sonic teams up with his own sidekick, Tails, and together they embark on a globe-trotting journey to find the emerald before it falls into the wrong hands. From the filmmakers behind The Fast and the Furious and Deadpool, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2 stars James Marsden, Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, and Jim Carrey returning, alongside new additions Shemar Moore, with Idris Elba as the voice of Knuckles, and Colleen O’Shaughnessey as the voice of Tails.
Based on the SEGA video game characters, the movie is directed by Jeff Fowler and stars James Marsden, Ben Schwartz, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, Shemar Moore, Colleen O’Shaughnessey with Idris Elba and Jim Carrey. The script for the film was written by Pat Casey & Josh Miller and John Whittington from the latter two’s story.
The film is now playing in theaters. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming movie and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: The Town with Matthew Belloni (via ScreenRant)