Hate by Design: Sonic getting redesigned after massive backlash

Paramount, Sega
Paramount, Sega /

In a possible first, Sonic’s much-derided look for his first feature film is getting a re-design. But at what cost, with Sonic the Hedgehog coming out in six months?

Hey, have you heard? It only took nearly three decades after his debut, but Sega’s blue speedster mascot has his own movie coming to theaters later this year. There was even a trailer dropped a few days ago! Unfortunately, the reveal movie trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog was bad. Really bad.

Aside from the odd use of Gangster’s Paradise and the decision to have it take place in a city full of humans (and apparently Sonic is an alien?), the most lambasted aspect of the trailer was the look of its titular protagonist, the blue blur himself. Paramount went for a more realistic style somewhat along the lines of the Detective Pikachu film, but whereas that film seems to have pulled off that style, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie looks like an abysmal failure on its own, much less by comparison.

Under most normal circumstances, the internet can cry and whine all it wants about something like this, and it changes nothing. There are numerous reasons for this, but the primary one being that it’s too late in the movie-making process. The movie is more or less done, merchandise is ready to go, you cannot change a character design like this with only about six months to go until the movie’s release, it just isn’t happening.

Unless the director is so affected by the initial reaction and outrage that apparently they can and will. Director Jeff Fowler tweeted today that in fact, a redesign for Sonic is underway:

It’s great that the director and studio are actually listening to the reaction and acting on it rather than just dumping it in the theater to die a pointless death in the long line of terrible video game movies, but at what cost?

It’s unlikely Sonic The Hedgehog is going to be delayed, those placeholder dates get reserved years in advance, and November is a prime time for family films. So what is the studio going to do? Work contract animators to near death in the next few months to not only redesign the character but work that into the film as well? That’s not a great solution.

Next. The 10 best shows based on a video game. dark

I want a good Sonic film, hell a good video game film as much as anybody, but not if it’s going to mean some poor underpaid people are going to be crunching for weeks on end. For now, Sonic The Hedgehog is still due out in theaters on November 8.