For over twenty years Sonic the Hedgehog has graced video game consoles and Saturday morning cartoon series, beginning with his grand introduction on the 16-bit Sega Genesis. Now the iconic speedy blue hedgehog is finally getting his due on the silver screen. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Neal Moritz (a producer on 22 Jump Street) will join Sega’s Marza Animation Planet and its producers Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi in producing a Sonic motion picture.
The Sonic film will be a mix of computer animation and live action, similar to Sony’s The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2.
Back in the day when video games were simpler, players would play as Sonic, rolling and running around “at the speed of sound” through long-winded, roller coaster-like levels, capturing as many gold rings as possible. Eventually players would have to defeat Dr. Eggman, a pudgy, evil mad scientist bent on taking over the world and using the cute animals of the forest for his diabolical experiments. Sonic and Dr. Eggman are confirmed to appear in the film, but it is unclear which other canonical figures (e.g. Tales, Knuckles, Shadow the Hedgehog) will costar.
Evan Susser and Van Robichaux (alumni of the famous comedy theatre Upright Citizens Brigade) have been hired to write the screenplay. They are also penning a script for a live-action take on The Jetsons.
Sony has not made any additional announcements considering casting or a release date.
Though the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo has long been over, we wonder if Nintendo’s Mario will also get a movie makeover in the wake of the oncoming Sonic film. Even if a combination of live-action and computer animation seems like a bit of a poisoned well given the critical backlash against The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, it’s hard to believe the Sonic movie being any worse than 1993’s forever-shunned Super Mario Bros.