Monday, October 31, 2016

Fast-Tracked: 'Sonic The Hedgehog' Movie Gets Director and a New Team

Quite a transition... Deadpool to Sonic the Hedgehog...

Who is transitioning? Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool, the edgy turbo shot in the superhero movie coffee that shook the box office and impressed critics. After having "creative differences" with Ryan Reynolds, Mr. Miller sadly left Deadpool 2, shocking the world and leaving folk skeptical. While we wait to hear what he'll be directing next, we now know what's on his mind...

Revealed by THR today, Miller is set to executive produce Sega and Sony's long-in-development Sonic the Hedgehog live-action/CG hybrid movie. The film also has a director, an old partner of Miller's: Jeff Fowler. Fowler worked for Miller's Blur Studio, who have done VFX for several blockbusters, including Deadpool. This will be the man's directorial debut. Fast & Furious man Neal Moritz is still set to produce the film.

It appears that a few changes have occurred. The project's writers are Patrick Casey and Josh Miller, they're the creators of Fox's adult-oriented animated series Golan the Insatiable. Originally, Evan Susser and Van Robichaux were going to write the film, but it seems like they were out the door a while ago. Apparently, according to hearsay, they were aiming for something that was more of a PG-13 flick.

Miller had this say about Fowler tackling the project...

"Jeff is an incredible director with strong story instincts. The world of Sonic presents the perfect opportunity for him to leverage his experience in animation to bring new dimension to this iconic character."

I'm very curious to see what they bring to this given that Miller's own Deadpool and his Goon are adaptations of very family-unfriendly comics. If Sony and Sega want this Sonic feature to be more PG, then I can imagine Miller and Fowler bringing some edge to it, alongside the Golan creators. The franchise has never really gone above the E10+ rating (before anyone says something, no, I'm not familiar with the Sonic Archie comics - apparently some of those tried to go for a teen audience at one point?), so I can imagine - at best - a very edgy PG. I just wonder what kind of tone it will take on. I doubt it'll commit the mistakes Sonic 06 made, because I honestly wouldn't want a Sonic film that takes itself way too seriously. It's possible that it could be irreverent, and mock the ins and outs of the series, but how far can you stretch thtat?

Personally, I would like to see the movie be similar to Sonic's first true 3D game, 1998's Sonic Adventure. While it's probably not chic to consider that game good in this day and age (I'm not blinded by nostalgia here, I still have a blast playing it), I actually dig that game's sometimes overcrowded story and slick style. To me it was the right mix: There was speedy action, the adventure was big in scope, the variety in the levels was great, and I liked all the backstory stuff concerning Chaos. The only big problem with that game was the actual dialogue, which was mostly boring and flat, save for Eggman's parts. If they can take that game's style and combine with dialogue that's actually good and snazzy, then I'll be content!

Or they could perhaps make it similar to the early 90s cartoon adaptation known as Sonic "SatAM", which plunged the characters into a darker sci-fi story that worked... A complete 180 from the other early 90s Sonic cartoon, for sure! (Which, I think, you can enjoy on its own terms.)

All of that aside, I think Sonic the Hedgehog would make for a fun animated movie adaptation. Plus I'd love to see the gameplay translated into dizzying scenes, you know? Him running through loops and twists and whatnot. Time and time again, studios blow it up when it comes to films based on video games. I was initially so excited at the idea of a Ratchet & Clank movie, but we ended up getting a botched matinee that came and went. See, I think animation is the perfect route for video game movies, given that some games - to me - just wouldn't work in live-action or with hyper-real CGI. Sonic the Hedgehog, I think, is one of them, alongside the likes of Mario and many others. I sincerely hope the CG side of this hybrid won't be like Jungle Book, it's Sonic the Hedgehog for Pete's sake!

Now that the film has a solid crew behind it and a director, I'm guessing this will open in 2019 at the earliest. Years back, they thought that 2018 was the target, but I think they'll end up getting it out a year later. Who knows, maybe they can bang it out. After all, Miller banged out Deadpool and made the early 2016 slot, with pretty top-notch results. I think a Sonic the Hedgehog animated movie has a lot of potential, I like the series a great deal, so I'll continue to keep my eye on this one.

What say you?

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