Ahead of its release in November, we got our first look this week at the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie thanks to a trailer that dropped on Tuesday. A trailer that promptly sent fans of the beloved Sega character into an uproar over how not-cute and over-the-top the CGI animation looked, among other things. And that’s before you even get to the surprise of seeing Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr. Robotnik.
At any rate, the fan criticism was so massive and so acute that it’s prompting some rare eleventh hour changes to the movie and to the way Sonic himself looks — with some fans put off by an eerie similarity to Mike Myers’ version of The Cat in the Hat, as well as the creepily human-like teeth this Sonic possesses.
Keith Stuart of The Guardian described the trailer as “a 200 mph slap in the face” and said of the character of Sonic, specifically, that it “resembles a cheap knock-off Sonic toy your child might win at a fairground stand and then be terrified of.” Much of the online criticism was more or less a variant of that.
A Twitter account that seems to belong to Sonic director Jeff Fowler, and regarded as such in several media reports, tried to reassure fans in a tweet late Thursday that their concerns have been heard. And that, in short, changes will be made (There’s not much time to tweak the CGI, among other things, given that there’s just six months before the movie hits theaters, but it sounds like the filmmakers are going to try anyway).
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… #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
As of the time of this writing Friday morning, the trailer that Fowler shared via his Twitter account has already been viewed more than 9.5 million times. In addition to Carrey’s portrayal of the movie’s big bad, other acting talent that’s been lined up for the movie includes James Marsden, Adam Pally and Ben Schwartz, who’s voicing the character of Sonic.
Sonic the Hedgehog has been languishing in development limbo since 2013 when Sony acquired the rights and ultimately didn’t do anything with a project, after which the rights passed to Paramount a few years later. Hopefully, there’s still enough time to appease fans and make something enjoyable by the time the release date gets here.