Sonic the Hedgehog exec producer Tim Miller is confident that fans will be pleased with their new-look protagonist, following a social media backlash at the original design.
When Paramount dropped the first trailer in April, fans of the Sega video game weren't best pleased at the character design of Sonic, and made their feelings known – prompting director Jeff Fowler to respond, as he publicly admitted that the studio were set to change the aesthetic, and subsequently delay the film's release to Valentine's Day 2020.
Thank you for the support. And the criticism. The message is loud and clear... you aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen. Everyone at Paramount & Sega are fully committed to making this character the BEST he can be... #sonicmovie #gottafixfast 🔧✌️
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 2, 2019
Miller, who helmed Deadpool, backs his director's decision to respond to criticism online, and believes that Sonic fans will have much less to moan about with the new design.
“I think the fans will be pleased,” he told Variety. “Look, I was with the fans and so was Jeff. This is a franchise and it has to be great. The most important thing to do is say 'I f***** up'.”
“He's (Fowler) a good man. It was exactly the right way to handle that. The fans have a voice in this too. There's a right way to listen.”
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Fans will undoubtedly be hoping that Miller is right, though it's not the first time he's discussed the look of our favourite blue hedgehog before, as last December he went into detail about the specific details regarding the character's unique design. Like the decision to animalise Sonic and give him lifelike fur (let’s not even get started on his teeth).
Speaking to IGN, Miller said, “It would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. We never considered anything different. It's part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature. He's not going to feel like a Pixar character would because I don't think that's the right aesthetic to make it feel like a part of our world.”
Meanwhile producer Neal Moritz chimed in on the design of Sonic's iconic footwear. “We also looked at every different variation of what shoes he's worn and we're trying to pay homage to that and also make it current and present day, in what we think a Sonic of today would wear,” he told IGN.
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With that level of meticulous thought and consideration going into the character design it's a struggle to figure out how they could've got it so wrong. But they've listened to the fans and they're assured us we'll be happy with the new look. Let's just hope they're right, it’s the least Jim Carrey deserves.
Sonic the Hedgehog is out on 14 February, 2020