'Sonic the Hedgehog' pushed to 2020 as iconic character gets redesign following backlash

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Sonic the Hedgehog may be built for speed, but his feature film debut is going to take the long way ’round into movie theaters. Director Jeff Fowler announced on Twitter that the live-action movie based on Sega’s enduring video game character has been pushed back from its Nov. 8 release date to Feb. 14, 2020. “Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right,” Fowler wrote in his message, a message that’s appropriately heartwarming for a movie that’s now opening on Valentine’s Day.

Fowler’s public message to fans also revealed one of the reasons behind the film’s release date change: ensuring that the visual-effects artists had the necessary time to refine Sonic’s controversial appearance, focusing on his weirdly human teeth and body design that didn’t match up to the seminal video games. In response to the director’s previously announcement that the hedgehog would receive a last-minute makeover, multiple fans expressed concern that a speedier turnaround would put undue pressure on already overworked VFX houses. As a digital F/X veteran himself, Fowler took that note to heart. “No VFX artists were harmed in the making of this movie,” he promised via hashtag, a signal that was received loud and clear on Twitter.

Some also noted that Fowler may have included a hint at one aspect of Sonic’s redesign in the image accompanying his Tweet.

As long as Fowler stays on track, Sonic fans won’t have to worry about feeling blue this Valentine’s Day.

Sonic the Hedgehog now speeds into theaters on Feb. 14, 2020.

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