It's taken over 25 years but the Sonic movie is almost a reality. But it's been a long road to get there, filled with as many twists and turns as the Green Hill Zone. The Sonic re-design is the headline news, and we'll take you through the full story, from backlash to the blue blur's new-and-improved look.
We'll even race through the official Sonic movie trailers, cast list, and *checks notes* the official Sonic song by Wiz Khalifa. Spoilers: it's surprisingly catchy..
- Sonic movie release date: February 14, 2020
- Sonic movie director: Jeff Fowler
- Sonic movie cast: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Neal McDonough
- Sonic movie writers: Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, Oren Uziel
The Sonic movie release date was delayed until February 14, 2020
In an alternate universe, we would have seen the Sonic movie by now. That's because the release date was originally set for November 8, 2019. Of course, with the almost instantaneous backlash to Sonic (and his unsightly human teeth) in the first trailer, the production team quite literally went back to the drawing board to fix things for the fans.
We'll get to the redesign later on but, more crucially, that extra work led to a knock-on effect for the Sonic movie release date. It's now clashing with Valentine's Day on February 14, 2020, as revealed by director Jeff Fowler on Twitter back in May. Oh, and just an FYI for you: take your crush on a date night to the Sonic movie at your own peril.
Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right.#novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie pic.twitter.com/gxhu9lhU76May 24, 2019
The Sonic movie cast features Jim Carrey; Westworld, Parks & Rec stars
Jim Carrey is back, and he'll playing Dr. Ivo Robotnik, not Eggman. That's an important distinction for all of you Sonic lore nerds out there.
The comedic star, once a ubiquitous presence in the '90s, has fallen out of favour in recent years. His last major role was in 2014's Dumb and Dumber To. His return seems to mirror much of his earlier roles: high energy, plenty of scenery chewing, and his trademark rubber-faced japes. Classic Carrey.
Ben Schwartz, best known as the incessantly annoying Jean-Ralphio in Parks and Recreation will play Sonic the Hedgehog. It's not his first voice acting role, either. He's played Dewey in the DuckTales reboot (which you can now watch on Disney Plus), and, remarkably, worked as a voice consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens for BB-8 of all things
Starring alongside Sonic is Westworld's James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, a small-town sheriff in Green Hills (do you get it?!), Montana. He'll be joined by Gossip Girl's Tika Sumpter, who plays Tom's wife, Annie. Adam Pally is Billy, a friend of Tom's, and go-to villainous actor Neal McDonough will play Major Bennington.
The Sonic movie trailers are a tale of two Sonics
Two Sonic movie trailers have been released so far but, honestly, we may as well disregard the first one. The original is as far removed in tone as you'd want from a Sonic movie: weird music choice (Gangster's Paradise, anyone?), a spindly Sonic design, and a smattering of set-pieces with very little substance. You can watch it below, if you like.
The second trailer is much better: Sonic is rounder, more cartoonish, and already brimming with more personality and far fewer teeth. Good start. It helps that we also get a look at the iconic Green Hill Zone for the first time, complete with loop-the-loop. That's a far cry from the bland cityscapes in the first trailer.
We even get Sonic with nunchucks, Sonic reading comics and… Sonic in just a towel. You probably shouldn't Google that last one if you're at work. Overall, though, it's full of character and energy. The redesign has brought all of the disparate elements we caught a glimpse of in the original Sonic movie trailer and brought them all together around the iconic hero – the result is what looks to be a genuinely entertaining buddy comedy.
New Sonic clip features a mention of The Rock
One of the first full clips for the Sonic movie has surfaced. Courtesy of the official account, we now know what was racing through the blue blur's mind when he sprinted over to our planet: is The Rock president? I'm not sure what sort of parallel universe the spiky mammal hails from, but it's safe to say the Great One doesn't reside in the White House just yet. Though there's always 2024...
"What year is it? Is @TheRock president?" pic.twitter.com/OSoGE9TjCgDecember 15, 2019
The Rock even replied, because if there's one guy that can make Sonic look even cooler, it's The Rock.
So crazy I used to love playing Sonic in college. Many moons later this... life can be so damn wildly unpredictable and surreal at times. 🤯 https://t.co/2aim2sv88ODecember 15, 2019
The Sonic movie soundtrack
We all have our favourite Sonic song: the springy Casino Night Zone track, the classic Green Hill Zone number, and even the terror-inducing drowning theme for the sadistic among you. It stands to reason, then, that the official tie-in song for the Sonic movie draws from decades of the blue blur's history to present "Speed Me Up" by Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Yachty, and Sueco the Child.
Bonus points if you spot all the Sonic references throughout. There's the Sonic 3 bonus stage, the very first Robotnik boss in the original Sonic, and Sonic's favourite snack, chilli dogs.
The Sonic movie redesign – what's changed?
Ooft. Where to begin on this? The original Sonic looked like this: weirdly skinny, eyes too close together, and more teeth than a serial killer that moonlights as a demented dentist. Take a look.
As you can imagine, there was a fair amount of feedback. Some kind, others less so. It led to director Jeff Fowler to tweet that the team was "Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right."
And so it proved. With the help of Sonic Mania artist Tyson Hesse, the new and improved Sonic roared back with a vengeance. His face is now more expressive and not a double dose of nightmare fuel. In effect, he resembles the 'modern' Sonic found in the recent console generations, complete with fuller eyes and a smaller body.
The original creator of Sonic, Yuji Naka, still isn't entirely pleased by the Sonic movie redesign. In a tweet translated by Dualshockers, he makes reference to the fact that Sonic's eyes aren’t completely joined together in the new design, as they are in the games. He reportedly said: "The design is much more Sonic-like now that he's wearing gloves. However, his eyes still aren’t joined together, as expected." You can’t win 'em all.
So, how much did the Sonic redesign cost? While numbers such as $35 million were being bandied about, the possible truth is far less than that. IndieWire suggests somewhere in the ballpark of $5 million. Still pretty pricey, but nowhere near as much of a moneysink as you may have been led to believe.
映画ソニックの新しいデザインのトレーラーですね。手袋をつけてくれたのでだいぶソニックっぽくなりましたが、やっぱり目は繋がらないんですね。どうも違和感を感じてしまいますね。でも、映画の公開が楽しみですね。 https://t.co/C8EwuiJg2mNovember 12, 2019
The Sonic movie story
As of writing, we can only really piece things together from the trailers: Sonic has arrived at our world from his own Green Hill Zone. While playing a solo-round of baseball, he causes a power surge (as you do), which draws the attention of various authorities – including Carrey’s Doctor Robotnik, who is tasked with tracking him down.
James Marsden's Tom finds the blue blur hiding out in his home and must escape with Sonic to keep him out Robotnik's evil clutches. No sign of Tails or Knuckles just yet – but you never know what a Sonic movie post-credits scene could whip up.
We might even be getting a flashback. That's because the Sonic movie has joined the Baby bandwagon once populated by the likes of Groot and Yoda. Yep, there's going to be a Baby Sonic.
As revealed by a Japanese TV spot, Baby Sonic is shown racing through the Green Hill Zone, and even offering a sunflower to an unseen person. D'aww?
The first Sonic movie poster is here
Ben Schwartz, who voices Sonic the Hedgehog, has taken to Twitter to reveal the first character poster for the Sonic movie. In case you hadn't noticed, the spiky hog has attitude and is very, very fast. Hence the graffiti.
New @SonicMovie poster!!! Getting real excited for everyone to see this movie on 2/14! A little over a month to go. pic.twitter.com/7VWFxEl73AJanuary 6, 2020