Denizens of the internet, your voice has been heard. Paramount debuted the first trailer for the long-awaited live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie yesterday and the design for the iconic video game character immediately prompted some passionate reactions and dunkings. The teeth, the legs, the eyes — well, fans had some problems with pretty much the whole lewk, took to social media, and quickly started posting their own (often impressive) redesigns.
In response, director Jeff Fowler has announced on Twitter that the studio is listening to fan concerns and will revamp the character. It’s a nice touch from SEGA and Paramount, and now doubt the willingness to listen will buy a lot of goodwill from fans who felt burned by the character’s unsettling original design.
“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.”
Sonic is set to hit theaters on November 8th, and it’s pretty rare for a studio to delve into a significant redesign this late in the promotion cycle, so it remains to be seen if the changes will have any impact on the release date. Not only do they have to complete the redesign, they also have to re-do the VFX and adjust their marketing strategy since no doubt all the mock-ups they have now will need to be adjusted.
The team certainly has their work cut out for them — adapting an old-school video game character to a somewhat photo-real CGI character is a daunting task in the first place, but it’s a good call from all involved. Sonic has the potential to be a big hit for the studio, but it’s important to have the fans on board. And while the trailer debut of Sonic’s look disappointed, it also featured Jim Carrey back in full goofy comedy mode (which we haven’t seen much of in recent years, barring the grim spectacle of Dumb and Dumber To), as well as some great line delivery from the always under-rated James Marsden. Which is to say, it looks like the movie is getting a lot right and if the redesign clicks, there’s still a lot of gas in the tank on this one.