‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Movie: What We Know So Far

Throughout cinema history, film adaptations of video games haven’t exactly earned the best reputation. In fact, aside from the Resident Evil franchise, no other theatrically released video game film has yielded more than a single sequel. The genre has given way to such cinematic embarrassments as Super Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and Alone in the Dark. Perhaps that’s why so many video game franchises are opting to stage big-screen reboots. Yet, of all the video game series that have unsuccessfully been made into movies, one is preparing to make the leap for the first time.

In the early 1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog emerged as one of the best-selling game series of the era, with the title character embraced as the Super Mario of Nintendo’s biggest rival, Sega. Since then, the franchise has stayed alive with releases like the recent Sonic Boom spinoff games. Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice hit shelves earlier this fall, but the speedy hedgehog has his sights on more than just golden rings. He’s on his way to theaters everywhere. Here’s what we know about the Sonic the Hedgehog film so far.

The film is set for a 2018 release

Sonic Generations

Sonic Generations | Sega

While no release date has been nailed down, the Sonic the Hedgehog film is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2018. So far, the only other video game film slated to be released that year is the Tomb Raider reboot starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander.

With the imminent release of Assassin’s Creed, many are hoping that video game films can make a comeback in the near future. If that is the case, the big-screen Sonic the Hedgehog may be ideally positioned to ride the wave of popularity that may follow in its wake.

Deadpool director Tim Miller will executive produce

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool | Fox

Director Tim Miller made an incredibly promising feature debut with 2016’s mega-hit, Deadpool. We now know that Miller won’t be returning to helm the upcoming sequel, but he is attached to lend his stylistic touch and creative vision to the Sonic the Hedgehog film as an executive producer. It remains to be seen exactly how involved Miller will be. Now that he’s such a big name, expect much of the film’s marketing to rely on “from the director of Deadpool” to stir up interest among audience members unfamiliar with the games.

It will feature a hybrid of CG animation and live-action

Sonic the hedgehog carries a princess in this 2006 reboot.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega

Considering the fact that the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise relies on humanoid animal characters like Sonic himself, his fox sidekick Tails, and tons more, a straight live-action film based on the games might be a bit hard to pull off. So, for Sonic’s big-screen debut, Sony Pictures is opting for a hybrid approach that will incorporate both live-action and CG animation, presumably in a similar fashion as films like The Smurfs and the Chipmunks franchise, which saw humanoid creatures interact with the real world.

Stay tuned for details on exactly how the new film will reimagine Sonic’s world.

The creators of Golan the Insatiable will write

Golan the Insatiable

Golan the Insatiable | Fox

To distill the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog franchise into a single film would be a daunting task for any screenwriter. However, in the case of this upcoming project, Patrick Casey and Josh Miller — best known for their work writing Fox’s 2013-2015 animated series Golan the Insatiable — have been tapped to bring the iconic blue speedster to life.

The duo’s previous fantasy comedy show also may hint at the kind of light-hearted approach they’ll bring to the Sonic the Hedgehog film. To date, their most notable feature work is the 2003 comedy, Dorm Daze. Here’s hoping they can up their game (pun intended) for Sonic’s sake.

No cast has been announced so far

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog | ABC

So far, there’s no indication how exactly the colorful world of Sonic the Hedgehog will be adapted to the screen, and as such, there’s no clue which characters will be rendered in animated forms and which will be played by live-action actors. Of course, the title character is expected to take the former route, though the film could either opt for a veteran voice actor or a celebrity voice to bring Sonic to the big-screen.

Those of you who were fans of Sonic’s 1993-1995 animated series, should note that there’s still a chance that Jaleel White will reprise his role for the feature version.

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable

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