Paramount has released a trailer for its live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Much like Pokémon, Sonic the Hedgehog took off as a video game franchise in the 1990s, and has seen its ups and downs in the decades since. Now, in a time when nostalgia for the '90s appears to be growing by the day, both properties are making the jump to live-action. Pokémon will go first with this May's Detective Pikachu, followed by the release of Sonic the Hedgehog in November.
Directed by Jeff Fowler (the Oscar-nominated animated short Gopher Broke) and produced by Deadpool helmsman Tim Miller, Sonic the Hedgehog follows its namesake on his first big adventure in the real world. Parks & Rec alum Ben Schwartz is lending his voice to the CGI character, with James Marsden playing his reluctant human partner, Sheriff Tom Wachowski. On the opposing team, there's Jim Carrey as Sonic's mad scientist nemesis, Dr. Ivo Robotnik, complete with handlebar mustache and (eventually) a bald head. Fans got a sneak peek at the actor in the role yesterday, when an image of Carrey as the "Eggman" leaked.
Paramount has now released an official Sonic the Hedgehog trailer online, ahead of the preview's debut in theaters. Up until this point, the studio's marketing for the film has consisted of a pair of one-sheets (including, one that was widely mocked for Sonic's unsettingly muscular legs) and its CinemaCon presentation, which included some of the same footage. Take a look and see what you make of it, then check out the film's new poster.
Much like Paramount's CinemaCon presentation, the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer focuses on Carrey as Dr. Robotnik almost as much as (if not more than) Sonic himself. It's not surprising, though; Carrey might not be the box office magnet he once was, but he's still a big name in his own right. That said, the actor seems less interested in drawing inspiration from previous versions of Robotnik (like the ones from the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog '90s cartoon series) and more focused on, basically, doing his Jim Carrey shtick. At the same time, he looks the part well enough at the end of the trailer, which (very briefly) shows the actor sporting Robotnik's traditional appearance.
Beyond that, the trailer brings to mind live-action/CGI movies like Yogi Bear and The Smurfs, in the way that it follows Sonic into the regular human world. That approach comes off feeling all the more tired and formulaic at this stage, especially when you compare it to Detective Pikachu and the way it embraces its source material's inherently bonkers universe (which Sonic doesn't appear to be doing). Something similar could be said for Sonic's live-action physique, which is still unnerving in ways that Detective Pikachu's Pokémon are not, and doesn't look that much better in motion.
And as for the trailer's use of "Gangsta's Paradise"... well, that certainly was a choice.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) release date: Feb 14, 2020