The 'Sonic the Hedgehog' movie is getting a major change after 'loud, clear' criticism of Sonic's look - here's what's going on

Sonic the Hedgehog (Movie)Paramount/SegaParamount/Sega

  • A new live-action movie starring the world's most popular blue hedgehog, "Sonic the Hedgehog," is scheduled to hit theaters this November.
  • The first trailer for the movie with Sonic sparked major criticism from longtime fans due to the way Sonic looked.
  • The movie's director, Jeff Fowler, responded to criticisms on Thursday with a vow to change the look of Sonic, "You aren't happy with the design & you want changes. It's going to happen," he wrote on Twitter.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After decades of video games and cartoons and plush figurines and all other manner of merchandising, "Sonic the Hedgehog" is getting his own live-action film.

That film - titled "Sonic the Hedgehog" - is scheduled to arrive this November. But the first trailer for it landed earlier this week, and the reaction has been strong to say the least. Strongly negative, that is.

The issue mostly centers around the look of Sonic:

Sonic the Hedgehog movieParamount PicturesParamount Pictures

After years of cartoon depictions of the speedy blue hedgehog, the pseudo-real version of Sonic has some people freaking out. So much so, in fact, that the film's director has vowed to change the look of Sonic ahead of the movie's release.

Here's the deal:

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1. On April 30, the first trailer for the new "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie debuted.

1. On April 30, the first trailer for the new "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie debuted.

Let's be clear up front: The "Sonic the Hedgehog" movie looks very silly.

That isn't intended as a knock — this is clearly a film aimed at younger audiences.

-It stars a snarky, anthropomorphized hedgehog that can run at nearly 800 miles per hour.
-It features Jim Carrey as the bad guy, Dr. Robotnik, in his silliest role in years.

Though "Sonic the Hedgehog" started life as a marquee video game on the Sega Genesis, the character has outgrown his retro gaming roots to become iconic across generations.

Here's that trailer:

2. After the release of the trailer, "Sonic the Hedgehog" fans reacted negatively to the look of Sonic.

2. After the release of the trailer, "Sonic the Hedgehog" fans reacted negatively to the look of Sonic.

Gaming websites were particularly critical of the movie trailer.

Kotaku described the trailer as "horrific." The headline on Eurogamer read, "The first Sonic the Hedgehog movie trailer is even worse than you expected."

Fans on Twitter and Tumblr were similarly critical.

The backlash was swift, loud, and primarily from people who could be described as "very online" — folks who can get the attention of the film's maker, Paramount, and Sega.

3. On Thursday, just days after the trailer was released, the film's director said that Sonic was going to get changed ahead of the film's release.

3. On Thursday, just days after the trailer was released, the film's director said that Sonic was going to get changed ahead of the film's release.

"Sonic the Hedgehog" director Jeff Fowler took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon with a message intended to assuage concern over Sonic's look.

"Thank you for the support. And the criticism," he wrote. "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... #sonicmovie #gottafixfast"

Given that the movie is expected to arrive in November, Fowler and Paramount still have some time to tweak the look of Sonic before the movie arrives.

One artist on Twitter offered a pretty clear example of the simple changes that could be made to help make Sonic look less bizarrely human:

Left is original screenshot. Right is my rework to make #Sonic more stylized. pic.twitter.com/IhXeAZYlQI

— Edward Pun (@EdwardPun1) April 30, 2019
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