Paramount's Sonic the Hedgehog movie release date gets delayed three months, but why? It's actually a good thing for the fans and the VFX artists. A live-action/CGI hybrid Sonic the Hedgehog movie, based on the classic 90s Sega games, has been in the works for quite a few years, though it wasn't until recently that the project really got going. Fans got their first look at the Sonic the Hedgehog movie through a motion poster that displayed the titular creature's silhouette. But what really got people talking - NOT positively - were photos of a different Sonic poster that showed off the character's legs. Additional Sonic the Hedgehog images received similarly bad reactions.
However, nothing could compare to the overwhelmingly negative responses to the first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer that released last month. From Sonic's human teeth to the differences to Sonic's game design, fans of the high-speed hedgehog had many complaints about the movie's take on the character. The response was so bad, the film's director Jeff Fowler announced Sonic the Hedgehog would get a redesign. Then, the conversation about the movie turned to how much work a redesign would place on the VFX artists in charge of the Sonic movie. Now even those fears have been assuaged.
Fowler himself announced that the Sonic the Hedgehog movie was delayed three months, releasing in February 2020 instead of November 2019. The reasons for the delay are clear from his tweet, which includes the hashtag "#novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie" (no VFX artists were harmed in the making of this movie). It seems Fowler, Paramount and everyone involved in making Sonic realized the movie - and especially the VFX artists - needed more time in order to complete the task of redesigning the titular character than they would have had if the movie kept its November release date. As such, Paramount moved the release date to accomodate for all the extra work Sonic the Hedgehog needs.
While movie release date delays can often signal trouble for a project, in the case of Sonic the Hedgehog, it's actually a good thing. The negative responses to Sonic's live-action design in the trailer were a good indicator of how critics and casual moviegoers would have reacted to the full film. Meaning, Sonic the Hedgehog looked to be heading toward bad reviews and an underwhelming box office. Instead, the studio and Fowler took the fan criticisms of Sonic to heart and are making changes. It's unclear what exact changes the movie will be making to Sonic's design, but the annoucement image is already more accurate to the original character with its white glove. As long as the Sonic the Hedgehog movie design moves closer to that of the games, it'll honor the source material and all the fans.
But the Sonic the Hedgehog delay to redesign the character isn't only good for the fans, it also benefits the VFX artists who will be working on the project. Six months to make the necessary changes to the entire movie was a tight schedule for the VFX artists, but they now have nine months to perfect the Sonic the Hedgehog design. It may not be a great deal of extra time, but it should alleviate some of the pressure on the artists.
As such, Paramount has found a way to address fan concerns about the Sonic the Hedgehog design without overworking the artists in charge of making those changes. While some fans may be disappointed they'll have to wait three more months for the first-ever live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it's all around for the better.
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) release date: Feb 14, 2020