‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Movie Team Discusses Sonic’s New Look and Adjusting It To Sega's Standards

Things have been getting rather...interesting when it comes to the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action film, between a pair of posters that have gotten ire from die-hard fans (mainly because of the design of that fur, and those legs), as well as an official Twitter account that seems to be having fun with their complaints. If that’s not enough, Sega may not be too crazy about the new look, either.

Sonic

While speaking with IGN, executive producer Tim Miller explained that the team was looking to update Sonic’s design so that it would be something that fit in the real world- and the publisher wasn’t crazy about the idea.

“I don’t think Sega was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it. 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 part of our world,” Miller explained.

There’s also a question of how speed will be depicted in the film, something the posters kind of failed to do thus far. Producer Neal Moritz said, “Obviously the poster can only show so much. That’s a hint at what we’re hoping to accomplish, but I think people are going to see things they’ve probably never seen before in trying to represent speed in this movie. We’ve worked so closely with the people at Sega who are kind of the gatekeepers of Sonic to make sure we’re lockstep. We’re trying to make something that’s for today that fans of different versions will love as well.”

But don’t expect Sonic to go, well, “supersonic.” Miller noted, “The first thing you need to do is put limits on it. If you can do anything, nothing is special. For me, it’s always about keeping it grounded and keeping it realistic. We had some time to figure out the speed: What it looks like, what it feels like for a character to do that and how it relates to our world. It took a little trial and error, but that’s animation in figuring out what the effect looks like and what it does to the rest of the world around it. The speed changes over time because he evolves, because he can’t do everything at the beginning of the movie. It’s finding the visual language and figuring out how it’s going to evolve over time.”

As for nailing down Sonic’s final design for the film, it probably won’t be to everyone’s standards. Moritz added, “We 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.” (This might explain his choice of shoes in the poster.)

And that means fur came into question as well. Miller concluded, “That was always stage one of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like. It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”

So now the real question is how he’ll look in the final film. We probably won’t know until we get a glimpse of the trailer, so get prepared, fans. It’s likely coming early next year now that the film has entered post-production.

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Sonic the Hedgehog arrives in theaters on November 8, 2019.

(Hat tip to IGN for the details!)