The global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega crosses over to the big screen this February 19 with Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog, the live-action adventure comedy that centers on the infamously brash bright blue hedgehog from another world.
The film follows the (mis)adventures of Sonic as he navigates the complexities of his new life on Earth with his newfound – and human – best friend Tom (James Marsden). Sonic and Tom join forces to try and stop the villainous Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from capturing Sonic and using his immense powers for world domination. The film also stars Tika Sumpteras Tom’s wife Maddie, and Ben Schwartz, as the voice of Sonic.
It seems only right that the cast and filmmakers turning Sega’s landmark and enduring videogame franchise into a motion picture event include: 1) Jim Carrey, a comedy icon known for his rapid-fire onscreen antics; 2) Neal Moritz, the producer of the blockbuster motion picture series The Fast and the Furious; and 3) Jeff Fowler, a fast-rising, Academy Award-nominated director who has been a lifelong fan of Sonic the game.
Moritz notes that he and his team were challenged to include in the film what fans of the game love about Sonic, while ensuring that it be accessible to those unfamiliar with the character. While developing the project, he learned that the latter audience segment was smaller than he imagined. “We discovered that more people are aware of Sonic than many other treasured pop culture icons, like Lego,” Moritz points out. “People enjoy Sonic’s attitude and speed.”
Moritz continues, “The goal for our movie was to keep all that while adding some unexpected dimensions. It’s a combination of what we love in movies – incredible action, comedy, and a lot of heart that comes from Sonic’s friendship with the human characters.”
Adds executive producer Tim Miller, who previously helmed a film about another pop culture icon, Deadpool: “This is the first time Sonic has been placed in a live action world, which brings exciting new possibilities to what he can do and be.”
Fowler’s relationship with Sonic began at age 13, when he was introduced to the game. “I knew immediately that it and the character would change videogames forever,” he explains. “Sonic’s attitude was unique and refreshing; I had never before experienced a personality like his. He broke the fourth wall, which had never been done before in a game, and it provided a window into his personality. Sonic behaved like a teenager, which was instantly relatable. He has confidence, a sense of humor, and a mischievous quality.”
Fowler wanted to ensure that he honored the spirit of the game and weave into the film elements that fans would recognize, including the golden rings, which provide a portal for Sonic to escape across space and time; his speed, of course; Sonic’s signature red shoes; and the energy emeralds that give him his abilities.
Moritz notes that the film still delivers everything fans expect – and more. “There’s a climactic sequence that sees Sonic and Robotnik in a chase that spans Paris, the Great Wall of China, and the Egyptian pyramids, before culminating back in Green Hills – in a matter of a minutes,” he teases. “You’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Sonic the Hedgehog is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.