From Disney live action remakes such as Aladdin and Lion King, to the never ending additions to the classic series Star Wars and Harry Potter, I am sure we are all aware of the recent trend in the film industry of doing remakes and playing to childhood nostalgia. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am personally a huge fan of all these remakes. I love seeing some of my favorite stories either continued or retold. I think it’s great to have new takes on the classics, and I can see how as a director or actor, it could be a lot of fun to take on this sort of project. However, projects aiming to play to fond memories come with added pressure. What you lose in originality you gain in audience expectation. People will come in with some pretty serious expectations of how characters will look, what story will be told, and they will be pretty upset if these standards aren’t met. I’m sure nobody can attest to this fact more than Jeff Fowler, and the other makers of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film.
After releasing the first trailer in late April, Sonic’s CGI design was met with instant pushback. Audiences believed he looked nothing like the Sonic they knew from the games and was portrayed with some almost human features, such as his legs, torso, and eyes. Fans quickly took to Twitter to criticize the design and begin making their own.
Tweets like these sparked instant virality among fans who clearly were not happy with this design. The pretty quick consensus was that people were not pleased and wanted changes to be made. Thanks to social media, these complaints were actually heard and only a few days after the trailer release director Jeff Fowler tweeted this out.
The hashtag “gottafixfast” left the original impression that Paramount and Sega were hoping to complete the design changes in time for the November 2019 release. However, voice actor Ben Schwartz, who is playing the titular role, added this to his instagram account.
His caption seems to indicate that even he was not pleased with the original design, and the addition of the glove seems promising that the new design will be much closer to the video game character many remember.
I will say, the largely unspoken part of the trailer that should be acknowledged is the casting of Jim Carrey as villain Doctor Eggman. His physical humor should be perfect for the role and the production seemed to nail his costuming.
It will be interesting to see if this redesign will drum up more support in the box office as people will want to see if they got it right the second time. Frankly, I probably won’t go see it myself. However I do know that I am anxiously awaiting the new trailer, and the new design, to see what kind of difference fans on twitter can actually make.