Well, that was fast. Days after moviegoers got their first glimpse of Sonic the Hedgehog in the video game character’s upcoming live-action movie, director Jeff Fowler has indicated that major changes are in store for Sega’s super-speedy critter. Responding to the social media backlash over Sonic’s appearance — with his uncanny human teeth singled out for special criticism — Fowler took to Twitter with a promise: “You aren’t happy with the design & you want changes. It’s going to happen.”
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
Sonic fans appreciated Fowler’s intention to give their favorite hedgehog a makeover before the film hits theaters on Nov. 8.
I'm both impressed and a bit shocked. Hopefully there is enough time to make the changes you think are necessary.— SquigglyDigg (@SquigglyDigg) May 2, 2019
At the same time... please take the criticism with some salt. There'll always be a knee-jerk reaction, and what you guys were going for is solid.
Definitely seeing the movie for sure now! Gotta love the effort ✊🏾!— Caleb愛 (@CalebCity) May 3, 2019
I think this move is pretty cool, actually. It’s not very often that we get a movie like this, if ever really, and so of course everyone wants to see their favorite hedgehog come to life in a familiar way. Sonic means a lot to a lot of people, so thank you for listening to us ❤️— TAHK0 ☕️ (@TAHK0) May 2, 2019
Some couldn’t resist making their own suggestions for improvements, some of which were more serious than others.
Sorry for all of the online criticism I'm sure a lot of it was extremely harsh and unnecessary but I very much agree that Sonic could use some changes. Thank you for listening to our feedback.— Li @ Hyrule 🌿 (@LiKovacs) May 2, 2019
Here are some edits I made: pic.twitter.com/R8iDXUGRni
I really don't know what to say other than my honest thanks to everyone who made this decision happen. I've compiled a few inspirational designs to use (but I can't credit the artists because I don't know who they are)! pic.twitter.com/44yccacVUX— Sunny Gupta (@Inkxjx) May 2, 2019
Tweeted my first tweet in months for this. IT HAS TO HAPPEN. I call upon all Sonic fans on Twiiter. Let's show them what we want! pic.twitter.com/kFTZSHQ3TM— Jack (@_Jackuar_) May 2, 2019
One common theme among the responses to Fowler’s note is that fans are willing to wait for the filmmakers to create the best Sonic possible instead of rushing the hedgehog into theaters. After all, with only six months to go until the film’s release, the film’s VFX artists would have a difficult task in front of them.
As a lighting/comp artist that is no stranger to massive crunches, please make sure your production team takes care of your artists for this turnaround. Good luck.— Fox (@pointedfox) May 2, 2019
Thisssss, im scared for the art team. Though it is refreshing that they're willing to make changes at this stage I wouldn't want it to be at the expense of crunched workers. pic.twitter.com/GyjB74VRu3— Holly Bear ʕ´･ᴥ･`ʔ (@BearHybrid) May 2, 2019
first and foremost PLEASE make sure your production/creative team is taken care of and isn't pushed past their limit. Their health is what's most important. But if a delay happens and you're able to create a more faithful Sonic, myself & other fans would be OVERJOYED 💖— 💀I'mBabyxSkull💀 (@LaydiexSkull) May 2, 2019
If you have to delay it esp for the team animation's sake; Please do. They deserve a lot of time to bring the best movie design they can. Six months is a huge task... Please delay it. We'll wait for it.— ★H O S H I ★ (@spacechao) May 2, 2019
Sonic the Hedgehog wouldn’t be the first production to radically reinvent a digital character in a limited timeframe. For example, Gollum underwent a significant makeover in between his first appearance in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and his reintroduction as a major character in The Two Towers. Meanwhile, Ang Lee’s reviled (and underappreciated) 2003 version of Hulk infamously released a Super Bowl commercial with early CGI footage of the green giant that looked decidedly unfinished. Fortunately, Sonic is used to moving quickly so the crew won’t have to put up with any diva-ish complaints.
Sonic the Hedgehog races into theaters on Nov. 8.
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