In a surprise to few, Paramount Pictures has opted to push the Sonic the Hedgehog release date back by three months to further retool the design of the lead character. The film was originally scheduled to hit theaters on November 8, 2019, but will now instead open in theaters on February 14, 2020.
The first trailer for the live-action/CG hybrid film hit earlier this month, but was immediately followed by some backlash and ridicule relating to the design of the central character. The CG creation boasted human-like teeth and jacked leg muscles and… well it just looked a little weird. But in an admirable move, instead of chalking the backlash up to a “vocal minority,” Paramount and director Jeff Fowler announced that they would be reworking the design of Sonic himself to make this character “the best he can be.”
Those kinds of design changes at this stage aren’t a huge deal, but delaying the film by three months gives Fowler and his team the time they need to get this right. On its new Valentine’s Day date, the film will now open opposite the untitled Kingsman prequel (likely to be Rated R) and the romance The Photograph, although it does open a week after the family friendly sequel Peter Rabbit 2.
It’ll be interesting to see if the redesign does anything to quiet fans of the video game franchise. The tone of the trailer was very much geared towards youngsters, so I’m a little dubious that adult fans of the SEGA character were itching to see this movie anyway. Seems more like a kids movie, no? And do kids really care about fidelity to source material? I suppose we’ll find out.
Revisit the original trailer below. Sonic the Hedgehog stars Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Neal McDonough, Adam Pally, and the voice of Ben Schwartz as Sonic.
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 24, 2019