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Sonic the Hedgehog director confirms character redesign after backlash

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Earlier this week, Paramount Pictures released the first full trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog, a live-action and CG hybrid film starring Sega’s famous Blue Blur. Though the humor and performance of Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik drew some praise, the film’s version of Sonic was met with criticism for his odd proportions and facial features. With a mere six months until the film releases, however, the producers decided the character will undergo a redesign.

In a post on Twitter, Sonic the Hedgehog director Jim Fowler expressed his gratitude for fans’ criticism, as it let his team know that they would need to change the design for the final film.

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

Multiple users promoted their art ideas for Sonic’s appearance, which mostly involve changing his eyes and his legs. In the original trailer, the eyes are quite small and far apart from his face, unlike the original design from the games. Sonic is also much shorter in the games, and though this might be difficult when it comes to showing the hero next to a human-like Carrey or James Marsden, there is something downright unsettling about his current legs. Edward Pun, an artist at game developer Sucker Punch, put together his version of Sonic that was so good it likely sparked the call for change.

There have been multiple versions of Sonic the Hedgehog in video games, as well. The Sonic seen in the trailer is closer to the “modern” Sonic, who is taller and a little less cute. The “classic” Sonic seen in the Genesis games is shorter and has a more childlike and rounded design. Both interacted with each other in the game Sonic Generations, which was among the most acclaimed games in the series.

That the film team would choose the current design for Sonic seems odd, considering that it seemed to nail Dr. Robotnik’s goofy mustache and outfit at the very end of the trailer. The makeover could result in a delay for the film’s release date, but with Fowler using the hashtag “gottafixfast,” it appears he is committed to getting the movie at its original November release window.

In the meantime, video game film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu opens in theaters May 10, and it’s receiving better reviews than the average video game movie.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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