Hey, people. CrazyGamerHistorian1999 here.
With the long-awaited Sonic the Hedgehog movie on the horizon, due to hit theaters real February 14th on Valentine's day, I thought it would be sweet to look back at the long process of development of the movie over the course of nearly three decades.
So lets begin...
Origins/Sonic: Wonders of the World
As you all know, back in the early 1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog came out for the SEGA Genesis and was a huge success, spawning more video games, a ton of comic books, lots of merchandise and nearly countless cartoons from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog to Sonic SatAM itself. But, what about the big screen?
This is where we get to the first subject of our story; Sonic the Hedgehog Wonders of the World.
In 1993, SEGA came up with the idea of a feature length Sonic the Hedgehog movie while work on SatAM and AoSTH was going on. Long story short, there was a lot of skepticism given what had happened in 1987 when the Masters of the Universe movie and the Mario Bros movie came out. However, in the end, SEGA formed a partnership with MGM and Richard Jefferies began writing the script for the movie.
So what was the movie going to be like and what was the plot?
Well, it was gonna be a live action-animation hybrid on the same level as films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mary Poppins, even though the latter had one live action/cartoon segment.
The plot was simple: a 12 year old schoolboy named Josh teams up with Sonic, who came out of the game Sonic X-Treme, to stop Doctor Robotnik from achieving his ultimate goal of dominating the world. The movie was gonna have a happy ending too.
In 1995, Jefferies presented his script to SEGA and the others to positive reception among the executives only for things to eventually go south when MGM backed out of wanting to make the movie and, in the end, Sonic Wonders of the World was basically scrapped...
In my opinion, the OVA doesn't really count as a movie as it was basically the pilot for an anime that never got made. The movie was still good which I saw with my pop back in 2015. So, uh, how about we move on to something else?
After Wonders of the World was scrapped, it would be a loooooooong time before another shot at trying to get the Sonic movie off the ground happened. In 2002, Ben Hurst contacted SEGA and attempted to pitch a movie idea that would revive the long gone Sonic SatAM and give it the proper conclusion it deserved. Side note: Ben Hurst was the head writer and director for the Sonic SatAM cartoon itself, he was really good but sadly he's no longer with us.
However, things changed when Mr. Ken Penders caught wind of the project. So who's Ken Penders you may ask, he was head writer of the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics from issue 11 all the way to issue 159, he helped make the series very famous and a huge success after all, Ken was also the one who made so many fan favorite characters such as Julie Su, Evil Sonic (later known as Scourge the Hedgehog), Elias Acorn and so much more.
However, despite being an important part of the Sonic series' legacy, his reception is a bit mixed nowadays.
Anyway, Mr. Penders caught wind of the project and contacted SEGA, objecting to Ben's pitch while offering his own pitch known as Sonic Armageddon, which would be based off the SatAM cartoon and the Archie Sonic comics. The movie was going to be more darker and more serious than SatAM. How? Mobius would have been destroyed and we were going to see a more scarier version of the process known as roboticization. What is roboticization? Its the full conversion of people into robots via a machine, Robotnik/Eggman is usually the one to roboticize people himself.
However, despite Ken and SEGA's efforts to get the movie off the ground, Sonic Armageddon was eventually scrapped. Afterwards, it would be a lot longer before another attempt to get the movie off the ground, bringing us all the way to Sony/Paramount's Sonic movie.
Sony Pictures and Paramount:
In 2013/2014, Sony Pictures secured the rights from SEGA to make a Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Development soon began and with no word of the project being cancelled, fans would finally get the movie they'd been wanting to see ever since Sonic's heyday in the 1990s. The people brought on board to make the movie had many ideas for it. At one point, they wanted to give Sonic a Dark Knight treatment. By Dark Knight treatment, I mean darker and grittier. For a while, the developers wanted to actually have the movie be PG-13, kinda nuts.
A few years passed and eventually, the rights to the movie suddenly switched from Sony to Paramount, with production, casting and filming starting up in 2017/2018. The man chosen to direct the movie was Tim Miller, who'd directed the r-rated superhero Marvel movie known as Deadpool. Yup, the guy who would later direct Terminator Dark Fate. By August/October of 2018, the cast was ready and filming started in Vancouver Canada. The movie was given the release date of November 2019.
Filming finished in later 2018 and towards the end of the year, marketing for the Sonic movie started with a poster in December teasing Sonic's design. Despite being in shadows, many fans were nervous by the design which "hardly" resembled Sonic himself. It wasn't long before ANOTHER poster dropped, this one showing the Golden Gate Bridge and Sonic's legs. Fans freaked out even more, yet there was speculation about when the trailer would drop and we would get our first look at this new version of Sonic.
Finally, after months of waiting and hearing rumors, a trailer dropped on April 30th, 2019...
The trailer gave us a glimpse of Sonic's world, starting with the town of Green Hills and a blue blur passing by a cop car with the character of Tom Wachowski curious and confused at what was going on. As we eventually heard the song Gangsta's Paradise, we finally got our first real look at Sonic, who had tall legs, a different body, glove-less hands, new shoes, realistic furr and a bizzare face. "Gotta go fast." This Sonic is voiced by Ben Schwartz, not Roger Craig Smith or Jaleel White.
We also got our first look at the movie's version of Doctor Ivo Eggman Robotnik who is played by the incredible Jim Carrey. This version of Robotnik is a bit rude and interrupts a soldier named Bennington, his assistant is Agent Stone, whom some fans see as this film's version of Snively from SatAM and the Archie comics. Lets not forget the whole "uh meow" scene and the rest of the trailer with Sonic and Tom sharing the screen together and a bit more of Robotnik himself.
However, despite being really good, this did not stop the fan backlash regarding Sonic's design. So the movie was delayed to February 2020 until while the creators' worked to give Sonic a better design with the famous Tyson Hesse being brought on board to redesign the blue blur. Months later, in November/December of 2019, we got another trailer and saw the new look which the Sonic fans were familiar with. This was positively received by fans more so than the first trailer and the other design.
Then, days ago, towards the end of the year, we got this...
Yup, we're gonna see Sonic as a baby in this movie. Move aside Baby Yoda, we got Baby Sonic.
At long last, after years of waiting, after so much development heck and so much trial and error, so many delays, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is finally hitting theaters and will eventually hit DVDs. Fans have been so patient and so loyal to the blue mascott, years of waiting have paid off. Grab your tickets, people and find yourself a great theater, Sonic is finally coming.
Thank you people and have a great day!