Paramount Pictures has given the Sonic the Hedgehog video game movie adaptation an official November 2019 theatrical release date. A live-action/CGI hybrid project, the film is being produced by Deadpool director Tim Miller and Fast & Furious franchise producer Neal H. Mortiz, among others. Jeff Fowler, who previously helmed the Oscar-nominated animated short Gopher Broke in the mid-2000s, is making his feature-length directorial debut on the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, with screenwriting Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (the Team Hot Wheels movies) among those who are working on the script.
The Sonic the Hedgehog character was introduced by Sega in 1991 and has gone on to appear in around two dozen video games since then, across several gaming consoles. Sonic has also starred in multiple TV series over the past twenty seven years, with Cartoon Network's computer-animated series Sonic Boom (which premiered in 2014) being the most recent example. A live-action/CGI Sonic movie first entered development in 2014 and was originally setup at Sony, before it moved to Paramount last October.
THR is confirming that Paramount has scheduled Sonic the Hedgehog to hit theaters stateside on November 15, 2019. Warner Bros. Pictures' Christmas-themed musical comedy Margie Claus (starring Melissa McCarthy as Mrs. Claus) is the only other film currently slated to debut in theaters that same day. Other films that will be playing on the big screen when Sonic arrives include Patty Jenkins' DC superhero sequel Wonder Woman 2, along with Kenneth Branagh's Hercule Poirot murder mystery Death on the Nile and the as yet untitled James Bond 25 (which doesn't have a director at the moment).
Now that it has a firm release date, Sonic the Hedgehog joins a growing pack of video game properties that have been turned into cartoon TV shows in the past, and are now making the jump to the big screen. Legendary and Universal Pictures' live-action Pokémon movie Detective Pikachu (with Ryan Reynolds voicing the movie's titular crime-solver) is currently in principal photography and will arrive in May 2019. Elsewhere, Nintendo is teaming up with Illumination for an animated Super Mario movie, with a release date yet to be announced.
Similar to an increasing number of modern video games-turned movies, the Sonic the Hedgehog games are light on plot, revolving around Sonic and his friends' ongoing efforts to thwart the villainous Dr. Eggman Robotnik by collecting rings and destroying his animals-turned robotic minions. Based on the creatives involved with the project thus far, the Sonic live-action/CGI movie will be aimed squarely at the juice box crowd, and perhaps wisely so. The Sonic franchise doesn't exactly lend itself to a mature adaptation anyway, and its November release date puts it in a great position to thrive as harmless family-friendly counter programming to the competition.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) release date: Feb 14, 2020