Sonic The Hedgehog didn't get off to the best start, but after a big redesign and favorable reviews, Sega's lovable mascot has achieved box office success. It was a surreal journey to this point to be sure, especially after seeing the response to the character's original design on posters and in the trailer. Sonic star Ben Schwartz, who brought the blue hedgehog to life in the film, remembers that journey to this point well, and he recently spoke to Cinemablend's ReelBlend podcast to talk about his reaction to that initial design in the trailer, which evidently was put together rather quickly.
"The way that I saw it first I think was on the trailer. I had to do ADR for the actual trailer because up until then it was all very temp," Schwartz said. "But I believe the trailer had to be done very quickly or something like that. So the first time I saw it was then. And then when it came out and the reaction it got when it came out. First of all we didn't know if anyone would care. We care because we like video games and movies it seems. But the biggest thing we learned from that was that when it came out so many people were so vocal and it became a huge thing. It got passed around so much. It may have not been the most positive reason why it was getting passed around, but it got passed around so much and so people had such heartfelt passionate ideas for it. That the biggest thing we learned was 'Oh, people care a lot. Let's look at this and figure it out.'"
Schwartz knows what the first design was going for, but in his head, the character always looked like the more cartoonish version from the final product.
"The big thing they were trying to do was how do you bring Sonic into the real world? Because he's a computer character, you can't just bring him in. How will he look in a real life situation? So I think that's what they were tackling. But I will say the new version… when I was doing my voice the whole time I was doing it the way the new version looks. In my head, that's the way it looked. So when I saw the first one I was like ok, but when I saw the second one I was like 'This is in my head what the little guy looks like.'"
We're glad it all worked out for Schwartz and Paramount, who both now have a franchise on their hands.
Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and stars Ben Schwartz (Voice of Sonic), Jim Carrey (Dr. Ivo Robotnik), James Marsden (Tom Wachowski), Tika Sumpter, Neal McDonough, and Adam Pally.
Based on the global blockbuster videogame franchise from Sega, SONIC THE HEDGEHOG tells the story of the world's speediest hedgehog as he embraces his new home on Earth. In this live-action adventure comedy, Sonic and his new best friend Tom (James Marsden) team up to defend the planet from the evil genius Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) and his plans for world domination. The family-friendly film also stars Tika Sumpter and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic.
Sonic The Hedgehog is available on home video and on-demand now.