We currently live in a reality where Soulja Boy is selling bootleg consoles (opens in new tab) and a live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie is being brought to you by people who worked on The Fast and the Furious franchise and Deadpool (opens in new tab). This morning, Paramount Pictures unveiled a glimpse of what Sega's timeless mascot will look like in the upcoming movie (opens in new tab) - and people are, in a word, unhappy. See Sonic's new look for yourself via this animated poster of his silhouette:
The guys that brought you Deadpool & The Fast and the Furious are bringing SONIC THE HEDGEHOG to the big screen! #SonicMovie speeds into theatres Nov 2019. Check out the new teaser poster, and click to read what they had to say about making the film: https://t.co/bdCPODHdVg pic.twitter.com/LMakeasL6yDecember 10, 2018
If nothing else, the Blue Blur's still collecting rings, and his three spikes of hair-fur look right - but that's where the stylistic similarities pretty much end. Chief among the unsettling changes is Sonic's muscular body, which looks like an Olympic runner's physique shrunken down to a toddler's proportions. My first reaction was that Sonic's buff redesign must've been based on the 8-year-old bodybuilder Little Hercules (opens in new tab).
Sonic will also be covered in realistic fur, rather than the smoothed-over blue mane we've grown accustomed to, because the producers thought he'd look naked otherwise. Other details that have everyone crying foul on social media are Sonic's apparent lack of his trademark gloves, and the stubbier, Sketchers-looking sneakers that have replaced his trademark running shoes (and apparently don't require socks).
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There's another change we can't yet see in this poster, but it sounds like the most horrifying one of all: giving Sonic two separate eyeballs in place of his classic 'two pupils, one giant eye' look. Speaking with IGN (opens in new tab), Sonic the Hedgehog's executive producer Tim Miller (who directed Deadpool and the cutscenes in CarnEvil (opens in new tab)) explained some of the changes. “I don't think Sega was entirely happy with the eye decision, but these sorts of things you go, 'It's going to look weird if we don't do this,'" said Miller. "But everything is a discussion, and that's kind of the goal, which is to only change what's necessary and stay true to the rest of it. [Sonic's] not going to feel like a Pixar character would because I don't think that's the right aesthetic to make it feel like part of our world."
As talented artists are want to do, folks immediately took to Twitter to post their visions of what this misshapen Sonic will look like in his full CG glory. The filmmakers cite the raunchy comedy Ted as an example of the 'CG creature in our reality' aesthetic they were going for, and this Sonic seems to tap into the same weirdness as the upcoming Pokemon Detective Pikachu (opens in new tab), only one shade creepier. But if Sonic ends up looking like any of these creations for the entire movie, it'll instantly go from 'Regrettable live-action film akin to 1993's Super Mario Bros.' to 'Regrettable film that I must see for the sheer spectacle of it all.'
"Hey guys, Sonic the Hedgehog movie lead designer here. It was difficult to design Sonic for live action, but here he is."#SonicMovie #Sonic pic.twitter.com/lMzS9oyv2LDecember 10, 2018
Sonic pic.twitter.com/LjXEKDgecbDecember 10, 2018
I can’t wait for the live action sonic movie pic.twitter.com/e6SU51bf7XDecember 10, 2018
I’m trying to work out how they even got to Movie Sonic from Normal Sonic And my conclusion is - inhaling absolutely shedloads of glue, it’s the only logical explanation pic.twitter.com/qfcaK5HFeHDecember 10, 2018
Sonic's beefy calves aren't the only thing to mock either - even the logo isn't safe from ridicule, whether it's in English or Japanese:
So about that Sonic movie logo... pic.twitter.com/vAiA4IFT8fDecember 10, 2018
On a more positive note, Sonic's new look doesn't have to be abysmal. Artist Dave Rapoza has drawn a Sonic inspired by the poster's design that makes the whole 'separate eyes' thing seem pretty ok:
Based on the poster, Sonic is a muscular child and now he has separate eyes. Here's what I did. Take it or leave it. #SonicMovie #sonicthehedgehogmovie #sonic pic.twitter.com/e7E56gRyQqDecember 10, 2018
So, there you have it - Sonic fans and haters alike are rallying around this poster, united in their mockery of such a bizarre design. As one of the many upcoming video game movies (opens in new tab), Sonic the Hedgehog stars Ben Schwartz as Sonic, Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, and James Marsden as Tom Wachowski (who I assume will be the Dave to Sonic's Alvin).
It'll hit theaters in late 2019; US folks can see it November 8 before it launches on November 28 in Australia, and December 26 in the UK. While you contemplate whether or not this new look will be the best or worst thing to happen in 2019, I'd like to remind you that we already have the perfect live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie:
If you're interested in more video games turned live-action movies, you'll be glad to know that the latest Monster Hunter movie photo looks much more authentic (opens in new tab).