Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog property is apparently also throwing its hat into the race to be the first good video game movie adaption. Sega Sammy Group are working together with Sony Pictures to produce a “live-action and animation hybrid” Sonic the Hedgehog film by 2018, reports Engadget.
Some gamers may be incredibly dubious of such efforts, since there hasn’t really been a universally praised film based on a video game. What’s more, the last few Sonic the Hedgehog video game releases themselves weren’t really met with positive reviews. But Sega president and CEO Hajime Satomi stated that a film adaption of the incredibly fast blue hedgehog is definitely going to happen, whether we like it or not.
“Sega Sammy Group is currently planning with Sony Pictures to create a live-action and animation hybrid ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie scheduled for release in 2018. Like with this CG animation production, we would like to expand our business into other entertainment areas beyond what we are currently involved.”
— Alternative Press (@AltPress) February 10, 2016
Sonic the Hedgehog was first released in 1991 and was successful when the first game launched, prompting Sega to make sequels. It also helped Sega become one of the leading video game companies during the early-mid ’90s. In addition to the numerous games, there have also been a number of cartoons based on the Sonic the Hedgehog series, as well as comic books.
Sonic the Hedgehog has, however, already had his cinematic debut, although his role certainly wasn’t big. Sonic Tails and Eggman were in the 2012 Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph. In the movie, Sonic has a very small speaking role and is voiced by Roger Craig Smith, Tails briefly appear as an image, while Doctor Eggman had a non-speaking appearance as part of Bad Anon, a support group for video game villains.
And then Disney was like "Hey guys, Sonic 2006 had a nice pose, let's reference that in Wreck-It Ralph. pic.twitter.com/zcabPKvmhU
— Ａｎｄｒｅａ律 – Pyon-nya! (@andrearitsu) January 30, 2016
Sony and producer Neal Moritz talked about adapting the video game to a film in 2014, and the Hollywood Reporter said at the time that Upright Citizens Brigade’s Evan Susser and Van Robichaux would write the screenplay. THR added that the studio would be working with Japan-based production company Marza Animation Planet, a division of the Sega Sammy Group.
“Sonic has had dozens of adventures on the console and the small screen, and we’re thrilled that he’s now coming to the big screen,” said Marza CEO Masanao Maeda. “Sony Pictures has had great success with hybrid animated and live-action features, and we’re confident that this collaboration will bring a fresh take to Sonic while still capturing everything that the fans love about him.”
— Nintendo Inquirer (@NintendoInq) February 10, 2016
Hannah Minghella, the president of production at Columbia Pictures, added, “There are limitless stories to tell with a character like Sonic the Hedgehog and a built-in international fan base. Along with our wonderful creative partners at Marza, we’re looking to capture everything that generations of fans know and love about Sonic while also growing his audience wider than ever before.”
Sonic is essentially an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog named Sonic who is often figuring out a way to stop his main antagonist, Doctor Eggman. Sonic sometimes enlists the help of his friends, like Tails, Amy, and Knuckles, and they all work together to stop Eggman from world domination. What specifically makes Sonic the Hedgehog special is his running speed, being the world’s fastest hedgehog. Along with stopping Eggman and defeating various enemies along the way, one of the other tasks was to collect as many gold rings as possible.
Sonic the Hedgehog will make his cinematic debut (as a solo film) in 2018, however, there are two video game adaptions set to release this year that have gamers curious if the dreaded video game adaptation curse can be broken. Duncan Jones’ Warcraft, based on the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) created in 2004, is set to release August 5, 2016, and Michael Fassbender will be starring in the adaptation of Assassin’s Creed, set to release on December 21, 2016.
[Image via Sega/OuiDo! Productions]