While it is safe to say fans are excited for the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie coming out on February 14, it wasn’t always that way. The release of the first trailer — back in April of last year — was met with almost universal backlash over the hedgehog’s initial look, prompting the studio to redesign the character from scratch.
The original iteration of Sonic was mocked for its strange-looking body and human-like teeth, but the design also saw changes made to the color of his arms and chest, as well as his iconic eyes. The minds behind the new movie had also opted to remove his gloves entirely. Since then, a redesigned Sonic has hit the scene, appearing much closer to the character’s original look in the video games. This reimagined version of the speedy hedgehog also retains his trademark gloves, though some changes to his iconic colors and large eyes have survived the rework.
GamesRadar sat down with director Jeff Fowler to discuss the character’s changes and the decision to remake the character so far into the development of the movie.
“It was pretty clear on the day the trailer was released just seeing the feedback and hearing the feedback… that fans were not happy enough with where we were at,” Fowler noted. “The message was very clear.”
The interview detailed that many of the people involved in the movie took a break from social media after the backlash. Fowler took the opposite approach, going so far as to tweet about the subject while adding the hashtag #gottafixfast.
“Thank you for the support. And the criticism. 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,” tweeted Fowler during the trailer controversy.
The director also revealed that the team was well aware that they needed to get the redesign right — a redesign which cost Paramount $5 million, per Screen Rant.
“In a situation like that, it was very little discussion – we just knew that that work had to be done. We just rolled up our sleeves and dived in,” said Fowler.
While speculation abounds as to how much — or how little — the redesign will affect ticket sales, the reaction to the new Sonic design has been largely positive. The movie is expected to do well at the box office, with fans excited to see the hedgehog on the big screen while also watching Jim Carrey return to a more goofy role as the iconic Doctor Robotnik.