Well now… Everyone knows that E3 is always the time for new video game related announcements to take place. But even so, I have to say, I did not see this one coming: Sony and SEGA have announced a partnership to bring Sonic the Hedgehog to the big screen. In a CG/live-action hybrid. And apparently they want to release one such film a year. Hm.
The film will “follow the antics of Sonic, the world’s fastest hedgehog. The film will also feature some of the franchise’s favorite characters including the evil Dr. Eggman.” It will be produced by Neal Moritz (Fast & Furious franchise, I Am Legend), and the CG aspects will be handled by Japanese company Marza Animation Planet. Little else has been revealed about the new franchise, but you can check out some quotes and thoughts about it below.
“There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog and a built-in international fan base. Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we’re looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before.” — Hannah Minghella, Columbia Pictures President of Production
“Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we’re thrilled that he’s now coming to the big screen. Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we’re confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic, while still capturing everything that the fans love about him.” — Masanao Maeda, Marza CEO
As much as I usually try to hold out hope for Sonic to do well and turn public opinion on him around, I imagine I’m not alone in my fears for this endeavor. Gaming movies have historically fared rather poorly at the box office, and Sonic and his adventures just do not strike me as the kind of game that can turn that around. I may be wrong, but I just can’t bring myself to expect much from this.
Nevertheless… if they’re serious about doing this, then I’m going to hope they do it well—after all, there are plenty of gaming series out there that I’d love to see get the movie treatment, but won’t because their companies don’t think gaming movies can work. If Sonic can succeed, its victory could be the first step to those games making the same transition. So if the fan petitions fail and this movie franchise gets made, we should all cross our fingers for it to turn out solid.
Classic case of “expect the worst, hope for the best.”