Earlier this year, Paramount unveiled their take on Sonic the Hedgehog, and it was met with near-universal scorn. Paramount took those criticisms to heart, and movie Sonic was redesigned, delaying the movie’s release by a few months. The new and improved look was met with a much warmer reception, and all was well again. Or so it seemed. Now, according to a report from CBC News, the studio responsible for fixing Sonic up is shutting its doors.
Movie Sonic redesign studio closes
CBC News obtained a copy of an email informing employees that the Moving Picture Company is closing the studio down, effective immediately. The email blamed “increasing external market pressures” and stated that there are more attractive business opportunities outside of Vancouver. MPC also operates studios in Montreal, London, Los Angeles, and Bangalore. Whether or not the movie Sonic redesign team will have opportunities at those studios is unknown at this time.
The Vancouver studio employed around 800 employees at its height, but that number has decreased in the years leading up to its closure. In addition to the Sonic movie, their past work includes Watchmen, The Lion King (live-action), Life of Pi, and more. Their work on that last one earned them an Academy Award. Though perhaps not award-winning yet, the Sonic redesign has also received strong praise. It’s clear this is a talented studio, which makes its closure all the more saddening.
In the wake of the studio’s closure, posts alleging poor working conditions have surfaced on Reddit. One since-deleted post claims there was extreme crunch, including seven-day workweeks and shifts lasting as long as 17 hours at times. Stories like these have thus far remained anonymous and cannot be verified at this time. Indie Wire has previously reported that, according to a source who worked on the redesign, there was no crunch or abusive treatment of employees.