As you may well not know, the upcoming adaptation of beloved video game franchise Sonic the Hedgehog was supposed to be released several months ago, but due to fan backlash to the design of the title character, it was decided that the movie would go back to the animators so that a more recognizable super-fast hedgehog could be created. In a big movie like Sonic the Hedgehog, this sort of retraction and reworking is practically unheard of, and the redesign understandably left director Jeff Fowler feeling very anxious indeed.

“I think it had been about five months that had passed since the first trailer. We had worked very hard on our updates to the character. It was definitely a little bit of like, ‘Oh man, what happens if they don’t like this?’ But really, everyone that saw it internally as I was working on the film, just responded so positively. It really felt like, once we shared it with the fans, they would really embrace it and be excited about it. Fortunately, any anxiety I had the night before passed really quickly once it was released. Because, yeah, it was such an incredible feeling to see Sonic 2.0 get embraced the way it was.”

Fans were far from shy about letting the filmmakers know exactly what they thought of the nightmare-inducing first design of Sonic. Sporting human-like teeth and a set of eyes that stared directly into your soul, there was a social media outcry from fans who had been left feeling devastatingly sad to see the iconic Sega character in this sorry state. So, it is completely understandable that Fowler was feeling a little apprehensive before the reveal of the redesign. Had the second design not been embraced, the backlash would no doubt have been even harsher, and where that would have left the movie is anyone’s guess.

Thankfully, everything looks to have worked out rather well, as fans responded very positively to the new and improved Sonic, which hues much closer to what fans are used to seeing when they look at a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the unprecedented move of going back to the drawing board so late into production was worth it, but the animators should be commended for their hard work at getting it all turned around so quickly in what must have been a very pressurized situation.

Sonic the Hedgehog follows our hedgehog hero Sonic as he tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his newfound best friend — a human named Tom Wachowski. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination. Based on the video game franchise published by Sega, the movie is directed by Jeff Fowler in his feature directorial debut and comes from a screenplay by Pat Casey and Josh Miller. It also stars James Marsden, Jim Carrey as Doctor Robotnik, and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.

RELATED: Sonic the Hedgehog Actress Tika Sumpter Talks Bringing the Video Game to Life [Exclusive]

The movie is due to hit theaters on February 14, 2020. This comes to us from Digital Spy.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb


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