Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Director Had Anxiety About Sonic Redesign

Only a few days remain before the Sonic the movie finally arrives in theaters, and it’s safe to say Sega’s zippy blue mascot has had an interesting journey to the big screen. Few things blew up the internet in the past year like the drama that resulted in the redesign of Sonic’s movie look, and this week the film’s director, Jeff Fowler, opened up on how it affected him personally.

Much has already been said over the initial design of the character that Paramount Pictures was originally going to go with. The backlash led to the Sonic the Hedgehog movie being delayed from its original November 2019 window to give its visual effects artists time to redesign Sonic. The period that followed, Fowler told Digital Spy, ended up being a pretty stressful time for him, despite his confidence in the new design.

“I think it had been about five months that had passed since the first trailer. We had worked very hard on our updates to the character. It was definitely a little bit of like, ‘Oh man, what happens if they don’t like this?’” he said. “But really, everyone that saw it internally as I was working on the film, just responded so positively. It really felt like, once we shared it with the fans, they would really embrace it and be excited about it.

Fortunately for Fowler, he said that whatever anxiety he had quickly disappeared once Sonic the Hedgehog’s second trailer dropped in November and fans fully embraced the more faithful-looking Sonic. The change in general perception towards the film since then has been incredible. Before then, it was scorned by pretty much everyone, but now the Sonic the Hedgehog movie is on track for a big box office debut this weekend.

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Besides the redesign, Fowler discussed Sonic’s character in the movie. Being a of the series himself, he stressed how important it was to maintain the “attitude and fun” of Sonic, and talked about the challenge of finding the best way to make that work across an entire movie. This, he said, resulted in Sonic’s character arc where he’s the “outsider” who has cool powers but has to live in isolation because of them and people interested in them, like Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik. “And for that to actually create a little bit of a challenge for him to overcome emotionally. That just felt like a really great place to start,” Fowler said.

Sonic the Hedgehog premieres in theaters on February 14.

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