So, most people with a passing interest in the blue blur should be aware by now that a Sonic the Hedgehog movie is still in the works. But what do we know about it so far?
The latest updates indicate that SEGA have moved away from Sony Pictures and are now working with Paramount on the film. Jeff Fowler is currently listed as the director, and this is set to be his directorial debut in terms of feature films. Prior to the Sonic film, he worked on 2009’s Where The Wild Things Are in an animation research capacity and did some animation and director work for a few short films. He will be joined by an executive producer in the form of Deadpool director Tim Miller.
The film is co-written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller and is set to feature a mix of live action and CGI. The animation is being handled by Marza Animation Planet who, as well as doing the cut scenes for every ‘modern’ Sonic game since 2008, also worked on the animated films Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and Resident Evil: Vendetta. SEGA have creative input on the piece, and Junkie XL (who previously worked on the Deadpool soundtrack) is said to be handling the music.
As it stands, the movie is tentatively slated to hit cinemas in November 2019, with filming due to start in the USA in July 2018. Character wise, the only confirmed appearances so far are the titular hedgehog and his nemesis Dr. Eggman.
So, we know a little, but not much. The question is, how will this all pan out in terms of quality?
Well, let’s start with the positives. The release being set to when it is at least gives them studio a good amount of time to work on it. I’m also a fan of Marza Animation Planet’s work, both in the Sonic games and in the films that I’ve seen, so as far as I’m concerned, they are a perfect fit for the film. Tim Miller’s involvement also gives me some hope, assuming he’s let have some decent creative control. Something you may not know is that he has some ties to the franchise, with his Blur Studio having done some of the CGI effects in Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic 06. While inexperienced, Jeff Fowler is a regular collaborator with Blur Studio and actually worked on the aforementioned games in that capacity. Rumours that Blur may take part in the CGI production also please me, as the cut scenes were the most impressive part of Sonic 06.
Even being the optimistic hedgehog fan that I am, I must admit that I do have some concerns though, and it pretty much all comes down to the live action sections. Honestly, I wouldn’t be worried at all if the film was entirely CGI based. By mixing the two mediums, I’m expecting two things to happen: one, human characters like Dr. Eggman will be cast as live action actors and so not really resemble their game counter-parts, and two, the anthropomorphic characters will not look like they belong in the environment.
Outside of this, I’m not familiar with the writers’ work, so couldn’t say whether I expect them to do a good job or not. I have enjoyed plenty of Paramount Pictures films, but I’m not daft enough to think that they never produce clangers, so who knows how their involvement will turn out.
Still, I’ve enjoyed Sonic’s recent resurgence, and am keeping my fingers crossed that my general optimism is rewarded, despite my handful of concerns. But what do you think? Will the film flop, or does it have a chance at being decent? Let me know in the comments below.