“Thank you for the support. And the criticism,” Fowler wrote in a tweet. “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…”
While it’s not remarkable for a cg character model to be tweaked six months before a film’s release — this kind of thing happens far more often than you’d think — it usually doesn’t happen for a film’s title character. It’s also unclear how much they can do at this point. Removing his teeth, one of the biggest fan complaints, would require a significant creative overhaul. Changing his facial and body proportions could mean that the eyelines on the live-action plates no longer properly line up.
This re-do raises a host of interesting questions: Will the film still be released in November? What does this mean for the film’s budget, already reported to be around $90 million? What does it mean for the health of the artists who have to work even harder now to finish the film?
The animation and vfx for Sonic the Hedgehog are being created by Blur Studio, Digital Domain, Industrial Light & Magic, and MPC.
(Image at top (l.) screengrab from Paramount film; (r.) suggested revision by Edward Pun)