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The Sonic movie release date, cast, trailer, redesign, and everything else you need to know

Sonic movie
(Image credit: Paramount)

Unless you've been living under a Chaos Emerald, you'll know that the Sonic movie has had its fair share of troubles. From a lukewarm reaction to the first trailer, to a Sonic design that was almost immediately sent back to the drawing board, the blue blur has been facing an uphill battle ever since his video game adaptation saw the light of day.

But it's all been fixed now. In fact, whisper it, but there's a lot to like about 2020's Sonic movie. From the cast, the redesign, the new trailer, and the director's open, honest approach to fixing the movie's mistakes, things are looking up ahead of the February release. Now, join us as we spin, dash, and race through everything you need to know about the Sonic movie. Yes, even the teeth.

Fast facts:

  • Sonic movie release date: February 14, 2020
  • Sonic movie director: Jeff Fowler
  • Sonic movie cast: Ben Schwartz, Jim Carrey, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Adam Pally, Neal McDonough
  • Sonic movie writers: Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, Oren Uziel

The Sonic movie release date was delayed until February 14, 2020

In an alternate universe, we would have seen the Sonic movie by now. That's because the release date was originally set for November 8, 2019. Of course, with the almost instantaneous backlash to Sonic (and his unsightly human teeth) in the first trailer, the production team quite literally went back to the drawing board to fix things for the fans.

We'll get to the redesign later on but, more crucially, that extra work led to a knock-on effect for the Sonic movie release date. It's now clashing with Valentine's Day on February 14, 2020, as revealed by director Jeff Fowler on Twitter back in May. Oh, and just an FYI for you: take your crush on a date night to the Sonic movie at your own peril.

The Sonic movie cast features Jim Carrey; Westworld, Parks & Rec stars

Jim Carrey is back, and he'll playing Dr. Ivo Robotnik, not Eggman, for all of you Sonic lore nerds out there. 

The comedic star, once a ubiquitous presence in the '90s, has fallen out of favour in recent years. His last major role was in 2014's Dumb and Dumber To. His return seems to mirror much of his earlier roles: high energy, plenty of scenery chewing, and his trademark rubber-faced japes.

Ben Schwartz, best known as the incessantly annoying Jean-Ralphio in Parks and Recreation will play Sonic the Hedgehog. It's not his first voice acting role, either. He's played Dewey in the DuckTales reboot (which you can now watch on Disney Plus), and, remarkably, worked as a voice consultant on Star Wars: The Force Awakens for BB-8 of all things

Starring alongside Sonic is Westworld's James Marsden as Tom Wachowski, a small-town sheriff in Green Hills (do you get it?!), Montana. He'll be joined by Gossip Girl's Tika Sumpter, who plays Tom's wife, Annie. Adam Pally is Billy, a friend of Tom's, and go-to villainous actor Neal McDonough will play Major Bennington.

The Sonic movie trailers are a tale of two Sonics

Two Sonic movie trailers have been released so far but, honestly, we may as well disregard the first one. The original is as far removed in tone as you'd want from a Sonic movie: weird music choice (Gangster's Paradise, anyone?), a spindly Sonic design, and a smattering of set-pieces with very little substance. You can watch it below, if you like.

The second trailer is much better: Sonic is rounder, more cartoonish, and already brimming with more personality and far fewer teeth. Good start. It helps that we also get a look at the iconic Green Hill Zone for the first time, complete with loop-the-loop. That's a far cry from the bland cityscapes in the first trailer.

We even get Sonic with nunchucks, Sonic reading comics and… Sonic in just a towel. You probably shouldn't Google that last one if you're at work. Overall, though, it's full of character and energy. The redesign has brought all of the disparate elements we caught but a glimpse of in the original Sonic movie trailer and brought them all together around the iconic hero – the result is what looks to be a genuinely entertaining buddy-duo comedy. 

The Sonic movie redesign – what's changed?

Ooft. Where to begin on this? The original Sonic looked like this: weirdly skinny, eyes too close together, and more teeth than a serial killer that moonlights as a demented dentist. Take a look.

(Image credit: Paramount)

As you can imagine, there was a fair amount of feedback. Some kind, others less so. It led to director Jeff Fowler to tweet that the team was "Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right."

And so it proved. With the help of Sonic Mania artist Tyson Hesse, the new and improved Sonic roared back with a vengeance. His face is now more expressive and not a double dose of nightmare fuel. In effect, he resembles the 'modern' Sonic found in the recent console generations, complete with fuller eyes and a smaller body.

Sonic movie

(Image credit: Paramount)

The original creator of Sonic, Yuji Naka, still isn't entirely pleased by the Sonic movie redesign. In a tweet translated by Dualshockers, he makes reference to the fact that Sonic's eyes aren’t completely joined together in the new design, as they are in the games. He reportedly said: "The design is much more Sonic-like now that he's wearing gloves. However, his eyes still aren’t joined together, as expected." You can’t win 'em all.

So, how much did the Sonic redesign cost? While numbers such as $35 million were being bandied about, the possible truth is far less than that. IndieWire suggests somewhere in the ballpark of $5 million. Still pretty pricey, but nowhere near as much of a moneysink as you may have been led to believe.

The Sonic movie story

As of writing, we can only really piece things together from the trailers: Sonic has arrived at our world from his own Green Hill Zone. While playing a solo-round of baseball, he causes a power surge (as you do), which draws the attention of various authorities – including Carrey’s Doctor Robotnik, who is tasked with tracking him down.

James Marsden's Tom finds the blue blur hiding out in his home and must escape with Sonic to keep him out Robotnik's evil clutches. No sign of Tails or Knuckles just yet – but you never know what a Sonic movie post-credits scene could whip up.

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).