Opinion: The Sonic redesign sets a bad precedent for the film industry

When the trailer for Paramount Studios’ Sonic the Hedgehog movie first dropped, its “unique” take on the Blue Blur’s iconic design was panned across the board by critics and diehard fans. To their collective relief, director Jeff Fowler took the criticism to heart and announced that they would revise Sonic’s look, with the movie now delayed from November this year to February 14, 2020.

“The fans have a voice in this too”

In an interview with Variety on Terminator: Dark Fate, director Tim Miller (also executive producer on Sonic) was approached on the topic about the May backlash and Sonic’s pending redesign:

Variety: You’re an executive producer on “Sonic the Hedgehog,” which was also due out in November but pushed to redesign the main character after fans protested. How was that experience?

Miller: When “Sonic” arrived, the director, Jeff Fowler, was the best guy to do it. The redesign? Look, I was with fans and so was Jeff. This is a franchise, and it has to be great. When the s–t hit the fan, I went over there and said, “The most important thing to do, man, is say, ‘I f–ked up.’” He’d already sent a tweet out an hour before I got there. He’s 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.

Variety: Have you seen any of the character redesign?

Miller: In fact I have. And I think the fans will be pleased. 

The jury is still out on Sonic’s new look for his cinematic debut, but it’s assuring to see the movie’s leads taking the matter seriously. Will it hopefully be more faithful to his game appearances, if not find a comfortable middle ground between both game and movie visions? Who’s to say for sure until we finally see it for ourselves. Expectations are higher now from both fans and even Sonic Team director Takashi Iizuka. At the very least, we have dedicated fans to thank for trying to redesign movie Sonic themselves.

In any case, what do you make of Miller’s comments on the upcoming redesign? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

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Jeffrey McDonell
Rare import from Canada, lover of all things video game music and remixes, desk jockey by day, and Nintendo Enthusiast by night. I grew up on Nintendo consoles since the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, with standouts like Sonic, Mario, and Zelda defining my childhood.

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